June 03, 2003

Guy Kawasaki's Q&A column in Forbes

Guy Kawasaki, the irrepressible founder of technology investment bank Garage.com, now answers start-up related questions in his Forbes column.

Couple of Q&A extracts from his latest column:

Which comes first, product or market? Should I find a product and then devise a way of selling it. Or should I look for an unexploited market and then find a product to fill it?

Call me old fashioned, but you should create the product first. It could be because you want one yourself. Or because the bozo company you work for won't do it. Or because, simply, you can build it, so what the hell (sometimes if you build it, they really will come).

My belief is that to be successful, you have to love what you do. I don't care how big and untapped a market is, if you don't love it, forget it. Life is too short to do something you hate. Go with your heart. The money will follow. Even if you fail, at least you failed doing something you love.

I'm interested in starting my own business, but as an eighteen-year-old, how do I get investors to take me seriously?

Ageist as this may seem, you pretty much can't if you are referring to professional investors. You should stick with the 3Fs: Friends, Fools, and Family. If you insist on trying professional investors (and I do hope you prove me wrong), then surround yourself with adult supervision.

Load up your board of directors and board of advisors with people with gray hair, no hair, and stents instead of nose earrings. And hire an adult who's old enough to shave to run the place.

(Extract ends)

Click Here to read the full column at Forbes.com