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Garage CEO: The Time To Start A Company Is Now

Guy Kawasaki offers a top-10 list of reasons why now's the time to launch.
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Guy Kawasaki resurfaced Monday in a big way, albeit on a small stage. The one-time Apple Computer evangelist and current CEO of Garage Technology Ventures (formerly Garage.com), appeared before DSL-industry execs at the Broadband Home fall conference here, and he brought all of his speaking powers with him.

Kawasaki, whose investment firm has shifted its emphasis on dot-coms to a more balanced technology portfolio, relied on his trademark top-10 approach to deliver a mixed message to his audience: It's a terrible market in which to try to get funding, but it's a great time to start a company. He also made it clear to attendees that, regardless of technological innovation, if broadband is to penetrate the home in a timely fashion, the industry has to make installation easier. "Fix this problem, and you're 90% there," he said.

As evidence of his theory that this is the right time to start a company, Kawasaki offered October 1987, when the stock market crashed and Cisco Systems was funded by Sequoia Capital. Given that historical reference point, he presented a top 10 list of reasons that now is the time to start a company:

1) You can't get in as much trouble (because you won't have as much money to spend).

2) There's much less noise (i.e. competition).

3) Expectations are lower.

4) It's easier to recruit.

5) It's easier to retain people.

6) Rents are cheaper. (He told of having to make PowerPoint presentations to landlords during the dot-com boom in order to make a case for why Garage.com should have the honor of putting a $2 million deposit on office space.)

7) Professional services are more available.

8) There's lots of used equipment available.

9) Everyone is available for meetings.

10) You have to build a stronger company.