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  • Sam Decker

10 Ingredients to Successful Books (based on Guy Kawasaki books)

Reading his latest, I noticed common characteristics from Guy's previous successful books.

The tone, content and formatting make them easy to read and impactful.

So I abstracted these factors as ingredients for a compelling business book:

1. Content Candy & Potatoes — Overall, lots of ‘how to’ and principles, but also flavorful humor, anecdotes, quotes 2. Make it Personal — show your personal side…share personal stories and give it a personal tone 3. Chutzpah — Make a stand, and state your opinion boldly. 4. From 30,000 Feet to Feet on the Street — Combine high level principles with tactical how tos, and stir. 5. How To Subheads — Add all the subheads together and you have a list of usable tips 6. Chapters of a Feather — All chapters fit together, they are thematic, they are like best friends. 7. List of Lists — Lots of lists, bullets, tips 8. Healthy Excercises — Make principles personal by using boxed "exercises" to tie principle to provoke personal application 9. Tables, Charts, Quotes…oh my! — Frequent use of tables to show contrasts and comparisons, charts to make a point, and quotes for each chapter 10. Footnotes are your Friends — Frequent use of footnotes to add humor, facts, and references. As a result, they are read (more candy

Here’s my Amazon review of his book:

The Art of the Start provides real-word wisdom, insider tips, and how to advice for getting a company, project or major initiative launched. Plus, it is funny and inspiring, which helps sustain reading momentum and the spirit to actually do something with what I learned. I’m inside a company, so the ‘starting a company’ advice may not seem applicable. However, the tips on making pitches to investors, hiring, and executing were some of the best intrapreneurial advice I’ve read. Every corporate manager must heed Guy’s presentation advice! If you’re thinking about starting a business, already own a business, or are leading change, Art of the Start belongs on the top shelf. And buy some of those post it flags first…you’ll mark several tips to reference along your journey.


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