Biz Features

Watch: Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs With Guy Kawasaki

by . November 19th, 2015

Controversial bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki knows more about start-up mistakes than anyone.

This Vietnam veteran is definitely best known as the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur as a noted venture capitalist, albeit a very controversial one, with regards to his views on investments. But few can dispute that Guy Kawasaki has seen it all, from bankruptcy to runaway success.

In this talk with students and faculty of the Berekley Haas School of Business, the second oldest business school in the United States, he gives us what he feels are the most common mistakes start up entrepreneurs make.

It’s a bit long but you can scroll down to and click on the time at the end of each point to skip to that part of the video.

The Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs according to Guy Kawasaki

Mistake 1: Multiply big numbers by 1 percent (8:37)

Solution: Calculate from the bottom up

Mistake 2: Scale too fast (14:07)

Solution: Eat what you kill

Mistake 3: Form partnerships (17:50)

Solution: Focus on sales

Mistake 4: Focus on pitch (20:00)

Solution:  Focus on prototype

Mistake 5: Use too many slides (22:40)

Solution: Obey the 10-20-30 rule

Mistake 6: Proceed serially (33:08)

Solution: Proceed parallelly

Mistake 7: Retain control (34:29)

Solution: Make a bigger pie

Mistake 8: Use patents for defensibility (39:48)

Solution: Use success for defensibility

Mistake 9: Hire in your image (44:29)

Solution: Hire to complement

Mistake 10: Befriend your investors (45:38)

Solution: Exceed expectations

Check out Berekley Haas School of Business’s YouTube channel for similar entrepreneurship and start-up topics from other speakers.


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.