Derek Sivers

Reality Check - by Guy Kawasaki

Reality Check - by Guy Kawasaki

ISBN: 1591842239
Date read: 2009-03-08
How strongly I recommend it: 3/10
(See my list of 320+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

Great collection of essays about entrepreneurship from his blog at

my notes

Mantra: 3 or 4 words that explain why your company should exist.

Read The Stragegy Paradox by Michael Raynor.

Entrepreneurs are apt to stick with a flawed business plan they spent months drafting.

The executive summary is the most important part. It must be fantastic, eyeball sucking, and pulse altering. Explain why your product is curve jumping, paradigm shifting, and revolutionary.

The more important reason to write a business plan is to force the management team to solidify the objectives (what), strategies (how), and tactics (where, when, who).

When you write your plan, act as if you know exactly what you're going to do. You are deliberate.

As you execute the plan, be flexible and fast-moving.

Set measurable goals. 3-5 goals measured on a weekly basis are plenty.

Achievable: take 10% of your forecast, make this your goal, and blow it away.

Postpone touchy-feely goals. Companies that reach on measurable goals are happy.

Communicate: Employees should wake up in the morning thinking about how they're going to help achieve these goals.

Good employees accept responsibility.
Great employees seek responsibility.

Follow through on an issue until it is done.

Reward the achievers. Serve notice to everyone that "this person delivered".

Establish a culture of execution in the early days. The CEO should set an example of meeting goals, responding to customers, and heeding and measuring employees. This obsession should include the CEO's answering emails and responding to phone calls.

When your product is "good enough", get it out, because cash flows when you start shipping.


Ask every candidate the same questions and take extensive notes.

Check independent references. LinkedIn is very useful for this.

Keep the same members on your interview team. They get better and better at it.

Read Mindset: the new psychology of success - by Carol Dweck.