Early this week, I had the pleasure of being part of a panel of Judges, presiding over presentations by bright young men and women, students at Singapore tertiary institutes, telling us about how they wanted to employ technology to improve the prospects of small and medium businesses.
It was a pleasure because these young people were earnest and eager. They were unencumbered by the knowledge of “what can’t be done”. Some projected their voices very well. All had clearly worked very hard on their projects. A few oozed genuine passion for their cause.
After the morning’s judging work, I asked the organiser if she could spring for books for all participants. The book I had in mind was “the Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki.
I’ve been reading Guy Kawasaki’s books since first coming across a copy of “the Macintosh Way” back in the early 90s. In the first of his books I bought, “Selling the Dream”, he put his compuserve email address in the book somewhere. I wrote to him, and he sent me a short and gracious reply, wishing me well in my intended venture. Guy has a delightfully irreverent writing style, one that’s very easy to enjoy. “The Art of the Start” would make a great gift to these students.
There’s a PDF summary in manifesto form, available for free (download) at http://changethis.com/1.ArtOfTheStart
There are many other excellent manifestos at http://changethis.com and the site is well worth a visit.
Guy has a great blog he modestly calls “How to Change the World“. The subtitle is “a practical blog for impractical people”. It makes a great read, and I’ve gained many great ideas and much entertainment from it.
So what made me think of “The Art of the Start” as a gift to the students? As the students delivered their presentations, all with powerpoint and some with color printouts of their proposals, I felt like a venture capitalist listening to pitches from startups. I found myself recalling Guy’s 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint, and realising what wisdom is encapsulated in:
- 10 slides
- 20 minutes
- 30 point fonts
You can read his post on this topic, from Dec 2005 here.