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Rules For Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services [Paperback]

Guy Kawasaki , Michele Moreno
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon Review

Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist at Apple Computer and an iconoclastic corporate tactician who now works with high-tech startups in Silicon Valley, is back in print with his seventh book: Rules for Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services. Entertainingly written in collaboration with previous co-author Michele Moreno, it lays out Kawasaki's decidedly audacious (but personally experienced) strategies for beating the competition and triumphing in today's hyper-charged business environment. The book is divided into three sections, whose titles alone epitomise its thrust and tone. The first, "Create Like a God," discusses the way that radical new products and services must really be developed. The second, "Command Like a King," explains why take- charge leaders are truly necessary in order for such developments to succeed. And the third, "Work Like a Slave," focuses on the commitment that is actually required to beat the odds and change the world. A concluding section is filled with entertaining and inspirational quotes on topics like technology, transportation, politics, entertainment, and medicine that show how even some of our era's most successful ideas and people--the telephone, Louis Pasteur, and Yahoo! among them--have prevailed despite the scoffing of naysayers. --Howard Rothman, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The most original, readable, and useful guide to success in business that I've read. . . . Rules for Revolutionaries will become the anthem of our time." -- Benjamin M. Rosen, chairman, Compaq Computer Corporation"Rules, which teaches would-be innovators how to expand the status quo and succeed in the process, is an easy and entertaining read full of commonsense guidelines, mind-expanding exercises, and down-to-earth aphorisms."-- "Business 2.0"

From the Author

An overview of Rules for Revolutionaries

Rules for Revolutionaries is a complete and pragmatic guide to the creation and marketing of revolutionary products and services. It is for people who see what is as only a fraction of what can be. It is the Red Book of capitalism.


The first 90% of revolution is creating the product; the second 90% is marketing it.

There are many books that examine innovation as a crucial part of a business enterprise however they are too simplistic and narrow in focus:

- "This is how I invented the widget and made a lot of money. Gee, am I wonderful or what?"

- "Get some beanbag chairs, water pistols, pizza, and Jolt Cola, and we’ll sit around and brainstorm."

- "As a professor of management, I have studied how Fedex, Nordstrom, and GE create products. These are their lessons."

These books have three major weaknesses: first, they focus only on what has worked for one person’s company or a small group of companies; second, they require people to deduce the real-world implications of examples; third, they try to explain how to create new products but stop short of explaining how to market them.

There are also many books that examine the marketing of new products and services, but they assume a pre-existing product or service—they do not explain how to create one. This means that most people who are trying revolutionize, or create, a market are flying blind 90% of the time.

No book has explained how to catalyze innovation and then how to market it. This is the sweet spot forRules for Revolutionaries.


Rules for Revolutionaries contains three sections plus a conclusion. Each section corresponds to a part of this quote from Constantine Brancusi :

"Create like a god. Command like a king. Work like a slave."

These three processes define the making of a revolution; each chapter, within these sections, focuses on a major principle.

I. Create Like a God

- Chapter: Cogita Differenter (Think Different). If you keep playing by the established rules, you’ll lose to companies that are bigger or earlier. However, if you can change the rules of development, sales, marketing, or distribution, you can alter the game to your advantage.

- Chapter: Don’t Worry, Be Crappy. Don’t worry about the first permutation of a product or service. Make it ten times better than the status quo ("the order of magnitude test") and then ship it. If you wait for the perfect product or service, the market will pass you by. Or, you won’t create a market when you could have.

- Chapter: Churn, Baby, Churn. Don’t worry, be crappy doesn’t mean stay crappy. The next step in a revolution is to listen to your customers and revise your product or service. How fast you’re moving is as important as where you started.

II. Command Like a King

- Chapter: Break Down Barriers. Revolutions face barriers like ignorance, inertia, complexity, and price. You may have a revolutionary mousetrap, but the burden is upon you to break down the barriers to acceptance of your product.

- Chapter: Make Evangelists, Not Sales. Revolutions are about leverage because most revolutionaries don’t start with too much time, money, and resources. Initially, raging, thunderlizard evangelists are more important that sales because they will carry the battle forward for you.

- Chapter: Avoid Death Magnets. Death magnets are dumb management habits that get a company’s overhead bloated, employees demoralized, and products knocked out of distribution. The irony is that even though death magnets are stupid, management can’t seem to help itself out of their mental rut. A revolutionary stuck in a mental rut is an oxymoron.

III. Work Like a Slave

- Chapter: Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant. Relative to their body weight, birds are eating machines. Elephants poop huge amounts—in any terms. The point is that companies need to eat constantly—that is, gain knowledge of their market, customers, and competition—but they also need to poop hugely—that is, put out information, create open standards, and embrace supporters—to succeed.

- Chapter: Think Digital, Act Analog. The Ritz-Carlton has a database of the personal choices of 500,000 customers. It uses enormous digital technology to maintain this database. But then Ritz-Carlton employees use this technology to act more analog—for example, making sure that a guest gets the kind of pillow she like. Revolutions are analog processes, and technology is just a tool.

- Chapter: Don’t ask customers to do what you wouldn’t. This is the single-best test for any management decision. Don’t ask customers to buy your product, wait on hold, fill out extra forms, and pay up front if you wouldn’t do them either. Sometimes if you’re a revolutionary, you love your product or service too much and can’t see what you’re asking your customers to do.

IV. Conclusion

- Chapter: Don’t Let Bozosity Grind You Down. What Macintosh believer wouldn’t understand this? When you really believe in something, go for it. Don’t let anyone grind you down. Stand up for what you believe in, build it, and they will come. Even if they don’t come, it’s okay to fail at doing the right thing.

Target Market

These groups are the target markets:

- Entrepreneurs. They need the big picture of how revolutionary products and services are created and marketed since they are responsible for the entire process.

- Product managers and marketers. They need outside-the-lines ideas for ways to promote their products and services as well as understanding how to work with engineers and inventors.

- Engineers and inventors. They need to learn how their colleagues have succeeded in the past and in other industries as well as understanding how to work with product managers and marketers.

- Small business owners. They need confirmation that small potatoes can start and sustain revolutions. These warriors need a quick-and-dirty explanation of the process.

- Not-for-profit leaders. They need to learn how to create revolutions without large budgets. When they read this book, they’ll learn that too much money is much worse than too little when trying to change the world.

- Anyone with $25. Many revolutionaries didn’t set out to be one. For example, the scientist that invented Teflon was just trying to work substitute for freon. Who am I to judge who should read this book? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Guy Kawasaki, author of The Macintosh Way, is the former director of software product management at Apple Computer, Inc. He later started a Macintosh software company and is currently a marketing consultant and columnist for MacUser Magazine. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Michele Moreno was the coauthor of Guy Kawasaki's previous book, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy.

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