GSIF Week 8 Blog Post: Matt Feryo

Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of the Start” speech was an incredibly insightful speech. Out of the many things that Guy covered, here are five points that really resonated with me and that I think would be easily applied to my project. My first takeaway was the very first point that Guy stated. He emphasized the importance of creating a venture that has meaning. Every member of our group is there by choice and because they truly care about improving the lives of children that live halfway across the world. As we move forward in our project, I want to make sure that our true goal is always in the back of our minds. Another key point that he made was to hire people that are “infected” with interest and passion for the project. In my opinion, passion is what drives people to success. If our venture is going to be successful, we want to work with people who can’t stop thinking about the project. All of our combined ambition will help us to not only create a successful product, but also successfully implement the product into the market of Sierra Leone. Similar to the last point, Guy Kawasaki also said to “polarize people”. He said that there is no use in aiming for the middle ground between crazy and ordinary ideas. This is something that really stuck with me throughout the entire video. Make something that no one has ever seen before. Some people may hate the idea, but at the same time there will be a group of people that becomes obsessed with the idea and help to see it to completion. For our project, there are products that have already been introduced to third world countries that fight malnutrition. If our product is going to be successful, we are going to have to differentiate ourselves from the others. Another point he made was to make milestones for the venture. When the milestones are reached, you will have concrete results. Then you can evaluate which direction you can take the project from there. In our project, I think that sometimes we get overwhelmed with all of the different “tasks” that need to get done. To be more efficient, we should focus on one thing at a time and set deadlines for ourselves. Finally, I felt the most important point that Guy Kawasaki said was his last. He told the audience to, “not let the bozos grind you down”. As a college student I think that some people outside of the University don’t take our venture seriously and may shoot us down. As we reach out to these external resources, it is important for our group to stress to them how important this project is and what we are trying to accomplish. A lot of people will tear us down, but its important to stick to our beliefs and do what we know is right as a group.

Preliminary Business Model Canvas:

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