Guy Kawasaki’s Hard Line: What Is Your Unfair Advantage?

One of the many nuggets of invaluable wisdom offered at last night’s Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs event was provided via a story about irrepresible powerhouse Guy Kawasaki. The story was told by Entrepreneur, Google and Co-Founder of Jaiku charismatic Jyri Engestrom.

As Jyri first explained he was invited to a Guy Kawasaki presentation to a group of entrepreneurs from Finland. Jyri is of Finnish heritage and acted as one of the liaisons. During one of Kawasaki’s talking points, Guy made the following statement:

“What is your unfair advantage?”

First Impressions

Jyri’s first impression of this statement was that it sounded very arrogant and confrontational until he had a moment to process. Then the statement made perfect sense and was one of the most important tips a entrepreneur could adopt.

Your Unfair Advantage

Your unfair advantage is the one powerful piece that makes your business unique, powerful, successful, and the envy of your competitors. Guy Kawasaki’s unfair advantage is the fact that he can instantly reach a huge audience due to his popularity online. When Guy says something thousands of people listen and often follow his lead

I Don’t Have an Unfair Advantage

According to Jyri, Kawasaki’s posit is simple. In the beginning, very few entrepreneurs or new businesses have an unfair advantage. They don’t have name recognition, fame, monster online audiences, or technology that is unique and ahead of the competition.

Instead most entrepreneurs and businesses begin with no unfair advantage according to Guy

The Solution

If your business does not have a unfair advantage or you the entrepreneur do not have an unfair advantage then you might consider the following:

1. Identify the unfair advantage that would make the greatest impact on your business

2. Hire the human capital, technology, or other entity that will provide you with your unfair advantage

Jyri’s Story was a simple case of recognizing a new industry trend, microblogging aka blogging platform for mobile devices (phones etc.) and chance. At a conference, Jyri met a developer he described as the #1 microblogging developer in the world. Jyri immediately accessed the opportunity and hired this man and the rest is Jaiku history.

WebGuild’s Web 2.0 Conference & Expo Silicon Valley: The Future Of Real Estate Marketing

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If you are a Internet marketing professionals, Web 2.0 professionals, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, real estate brokers, or product marketing managers then you should attend the WebGuild Web 2.0 Conference and Expo in the heart of Silicon Valley-Santa Clara, California.

Why should you attend?

1. Cutting edge topics: Information about the Web 2.0 World and marketing

2. Keynote speakers: luminaries from Yahoo, Google, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Intel and top companies

3. Web 2.0 Startups Profile: See the newest business models, technologies, and ideas

4. Network: Gain exposure with top companies, new entrepreneurs, make contacts, gain customers

What will you learn?

5. Web 2.0: technologies, strategies, techniques, opportunities and risks.

6. Successful Business models: Secrets to success and ongoing development

7. Trends: the direction Web 2.0 is going and how to leverage this path

8. Best Practices: See what is working and why

The sponsors of this event are a who’s who of Web 2.0 and technology:

Google; Intel; Sun Microsystems; Zoho; Mzinga; andiamo; chirp; Bloofusion; OpSource; Position 2; Groove; BayArea.net, and Mashable.

The registration cost for the conference is $299 for members and $399 for non members.

Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs: Venture Capital Nirvana For The Entrepreneur

What do Raman Khanna General Partner at Onset Ventures, Arun and Sachin Founders of vBrahma, Li-Ping Wang M.D., Ph.d stem cell researcher at Stanford University, and Josh Jaffe General Manager of news agency The Deal and Tech Confidential.Com have in common? They were all attendees and people I met at the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entreprenueur event: Where The Hot Money Will Be Going In 2008.

In what is easily one of the most impressive, talent laden, and cooperative networking groups I have attended, the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs is the major leagues. The sheer brainpower was so impressive as I met two venture capital partners, one doctor-Ph.d stem cell researcher, one of the men responsible for launching Fed Ex, and a number of other prominent capitalist ready to listen. If this were a poker game the opening ante would have been a Ivy League MBA with the following rounds of bets including Ph.d’s, VC power, fame, and fortune.

As Sean Connery announced in the Untouchables: “Just like a dago to show up to a gun fight with a knife.” Being of Italian heritage, I could both laugh at myself and feel exactly what Sean meant. My piddly little S.F. State BA was a bit on the lite side for this group but it was an exceedingly pleasant group of down to earth people. The intimidation factor was very low as everyone seemed to be friendly and more than willing to talk to me about themselves and my new venture innerarchitect.

 3 encounters at SVASE provided vital networking tips:

1. Networking is about leaving your preconceived notions at the door:

Allow the events to unfold. Don’t be biased be open. I thought I would be over matched; instead I was both welcomed and in step with the group.

2. You never know who you are meeting so always be pleasant:

I was approached by Raman Khanna who was a very cordial and interesting man.  Raman was especially interested in my company name, inner architect, and focus. He provided some quantum physics stories and examples of the power that is part of my mission statement.

When it was his turn to describe himself, I realized that I was speaking with one of the featured panelist. Raman is a partner in Onset Ventures one of the big players in Silicon Valley. He was the former owner of Diamondhead Ventures and Raman is one of the most respected men in the valley according to those in attendance.

3. Giving first means you will be given to later.

Prior to the event, I received a request from two tech entrepreneurs regarding their marketing efforts. Arun and Sachin of vBrahma are searching for funding. When they arrived at the event we chatted and then I immediately introduced them to my “new” friend Raman Khanna of ONSET Ventures.

Later both Arun and Sachin thanked me profusely for the introduction. If you learn anything from anything I have written this is the most powerful point of all. Give to people and the giving will come back to you.