Guy Kawasaki and Truemors

Post ImageEver hear the name Guy Kawasaki before? If you’re at all involved in the tech or marketing industries, chances are you have. He’s a pretty famous guy, credited with “bringing the concept of evangelism to the high-tech business.” He made his name at Apple, where he was responsible for marketing of the Macintosh.

Lately Guy has been blogging, and launching a new company called Truemors. Here’s a description from the website:

The purpose of Truemors is to democratize information. We made it so that people don’t need to be a journalist or even run a web site or blog to “tell the world.” Think of Truemors as a friction-free news site.

Reaction to the site has run the gamut from extremely positive to extremely negative. That doesn’t seem to bug Guy though, who recently posted “By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09.” After listing a bunch of facts and figures, he says:

One thing is for sure: no entrepreneur can tell me that he needs $1 million, four programmers, and six months to launch this kind of company.

He then ends with:

I end with a truism (as opposed to truemor): There’s only one way to find out if your idea will succeed, and that’s to try it, so go for it.

Lots of people have written about his post already, but I just have to add my two cents.

He’s absolutely right with that last point – if you have an idea, you have to go for it! There’s no other way to determine if it will fail or succeed. And you’ll learn a lot in the process too, as Guy pointed out.

The idea that you can launch a company for $12,000 is bullshit though. Guy may only have spent around $12K on Truemors, but that doesn’t take into account the value his name brought to the whole project. He knows it too:

Many bloggers got bent out of shape: “The only reason Truemors is getting so much coverage is that it’s Guy’s site.” To which my response is, “You have a firm grasp of the obvious.”

It’s obvious, but it is worth mentioning. TechCrunch wrote about the site three times, and that was before it even launched! Even ignoring the rest of the press Truemors got, those three posts are invaluable, and Guy can thank his name for them.

Guy makes it sound like it’s now dead easy to build and launch a company for hardly any money. From my own experience, and from everyone I have had the opportunity to learn from over the last few years, that’s just not typical.

I’m not saying you need $1 million, and I don’t want to discount the fact that Guy earned the value his name carries over 24 years of hard work, but his experience is clearly unique. I find it hard to believe that most entrepreneurs will have a similar experience. I sure haven’t! I’d love to have over 260,000 page views at Podcast Spot in a single day.

Anyway, I’ll stop now. If you’d like to read an interesting counterpoint to Guy’s post, check out Valleywag.

(This is a total aside, but I think my friend Alex looks a lot like Guy. He’s an evangelist too!)

Read: Guy Kawasaki