Thursday, May 28, 2009

Guy Kawasaki Talks Venture Capitalism and Twitter

I just came across this March 2009 video interview at les with Guy Kawasaki, who chats about what venture capitalists are looking for. In the process, Kawasaki talks about Twitter, “speed-to-market,” and other marketing tidbits. Marketing Brillo thinks these are the key points:

• The most important thing is prototyping. It’s not about working two years to create the perfect product. It’s speed-to-market right now,

• The second thing: Twitter is a great marketing tool. Every entrepreneur should be on Twitter, create a following, and use that following as a marketing method. Twitter is fast, free, and widespread. Many key people are on Twitter. Got a product to sell? Prototype the hell out of it; then get on Twitter and market the hell out of it.

People make four errors when seeking venture capital.

• First, they don’t research who they are meeting with. You need to go to the website and see what kinds of investments the venture capitalist does. Know the people you are meeting with.
• Second, typical Powerpoint presentations are way too long. Ten or 15 slides is enough.
• Third, people spend too much time describing their background. Keep it short; you need to explain what you do in 30 seconds or less.
• Fourth, people argue or become defensive when questioned too closely. Don’t try to bludgeon your way to success. If you don’t know the answer, say, “I’ll get back to you.” Answer a question you disagree with by saying, “I’ll get back to you.”

• A good model for meeting with venture capitalists is online dating: Is It Hot or Not? That’s the criteria for judgment. It’s not a survey, it’s not complicated, and it’s not eHarmony. Venture capital relationships come down to: “Is It Hot or Not?”

Plenty of Fish is my hero. Marcus Frind had maybe one or two programmers working on this site, so it’s one or two people generating billions of pages. And he did it without venture capital.

• I wouldn’t have predicted Twitter or YouTube. If you’re a venture capitalist, who knows what the next trend is?

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