Top Ten Entrepreneur’s Song List


Over at Escape From Cubicle Nation, Pam Slim has compiled the top ten entrepreneur’s song list, complete with samples.

Speaking of music, I was listening to the Greg Kihn show on KFOX this morning, and Gregg Allman called in because his daughter’s band came in second in the station’s “Last Band Standing” contest. In response to a question from Greg Kihn about performing early in one’s career, Gregg Allman said this:

“You play for the gods and people just happen to be there.”

This is a very good description of how you should feel when you are pitching: You pitch to the gods and people (venture capitalists*) just happen to be there. Because when you pitch to the gods…

  • You cut the crap because the gods are omniscient.

  • You make it short because the gods are busy.

  • You practice because you’re not going to get a second chance.

  • You use a 30-point font in your slides because the gods are old and have bad eyesight.

* And make no mistake, venture capitalists are not gods.

By | 2016-10-24T14:23:58+00:00 October 27th, 2006|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|Tags: , , |16 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Top Ten Entrepreneur’s Song List

    Over at Escape From Cubicle Nation, Pam Slim has compiled the top ten entrepreneur’s song list, complete with samples.

  2. Brad Hutchings October 27, 2006 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Guy wanted to call in and say, “Gregg, the phrase is Eat your own dog food not Eat your own brother.”

  3. Richard Muscat October 27, 2006 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Great post. I kind of love the way ideas from different industries/fields can be applied to other ones … the concept behind interdisciplinary research I guess.
    I recently attented a session by Ian Stewart (he *is* a mathematics God) and while I’m no mathematician, the creative juices certainly flowed by just making connections between mathematics/biology and web-related entrepreneurship… which is what I’m interested in at the moment.

  4. Mike October 27, 2006 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    “Running Down A Dream” by Tom Petty. That’s a great song for entrepreneurs. As is “Learning To Fly” and “I Won’t Back Down”, also by Tom Petty.

  5. Valentin October 27, 2006 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Jon Bon Jovi is great! One of my favorites entrepreneur songs haha!

  6. Trey Tomeny October 27, 2006 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Guy: I love your blog and hope that it is not an inappropriate place to make a “pitch to the gods”. This is not a moneymaking idea, at least for me. It is the second best idea God gave me in the last few weeks and it may advance peace so I’m tossing it to the public domain. I tried emailing popular bloggers with it (including you) but that didn’t work so here goes:
    “Bounty Video” is a concept for using existing technology and a social network to bring peace to the streets of Iraq and potentially any other warfare environment.
    In the case of Iraq, Bounty Video would involve the installation of tall poles at every street intersection. On top of the poles would be mounted webcams pointed in all directions. On top of the webcams would be a power supply consisting of a solar panel and solar rechargeable battery backup. Overhead, mounted on masts, high terrain, tethered ballons, satellites, or drone aircraft, would be multiple wireless access points.
    All the video from all the intersections would be streamed live to the world over the internet. The authorities wishing to keep peace in Iraq would manage a web site where people could join the network of peace watchers and earn bounties for detecting targeted activities. For example, discovering someone burying an IED in the street might be rewarded with $10,000- far less than the value of even one lost life or limb. Similarly, all manner for bounties could be offered for any number of illicit activites.
    It is hoped that many of the same “Million Eyes” that are currently trained on things like phony clicking web ads will turn their focus to furthering peace, and being paid well for their efforts. People around the world who want to pursue peace and don’t even care about the bounties will now have a way to participate directly.
    While there will likely be many attacks on camera installations, each attack should generate video footage of the attackers, making it likely that the attackers will eventually be caught. Since there are no power or data lines to cut at street level, an attack will need to be more sophisticated than a pocket knife.
    To prevent false alarms, network members would be fined out of future rewards for notifying authorities of activities that end up being false alarms. Over time the skills of the network members in discovering actual threats to the peace are likely to improve greatly as they move out on the learning curve.
    Persistent on web video could allow enemies of peace to use the system as a lookout system for the authorities. In Iraq, the navigable skies are controlled by the authorities, so the webcams will likely not be positioned to show the approach of helicopters or other aircraft. On the ground maneuvers by the authorities in efforts to keep the peace could use a switching system that either cuts off the video as they approach enemies of peace or seamlessly substitutes a loop that disguises their approach. The authorities may wish to use multiple false approaches with video being cut off in order to exasperate the enemies of peace by repeatedly forcing them to prepare to defend themselves.
    The cameras may be seen as infringing upon the civil liberties of the populace. It is proposed that the cameras only be focused on areas that are normally visible to ordinary police efforts. The Bounty Video system represents replacing the occassional eyes of a policeman, who is risking life and limb on the job, with the Million Eyes that are safe and secure in front of their monitors far away.
    The system does have a large potential for abuse by the authorities. Some of the Million Eyes who helped the authorities to gain the peace may have to stay on the job to make sure the authorities do not abuse the peace. However, once the peace is established the populace should become the ones to keep their own peace, using the same system to keep the authorities in check and using political pressure to remove the counterintelligence measures.
    An opportunity may exist to establish a profitable business around this concept. Any location requiring video surveilance could stream their video to the web. A marketplace could be set up to match buyers of surveillance eyes with sellers of surveillance eyes. Buyers would list the who, what, when, where, and how that they are looking for on the video and the bounty for spotting it. The site could show which cameras were being watched and which still needed watchers so there is not excess competition. Bounty hunting, either for peace or strictly for profit, could be the next new online game.

  7. gina smith October 27, 2006 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Hey, Guy. It’s Gina Smith, you know, from iWOZ.
    Tell your friend to contact me.
    BTW, Greg Allman (both brothers) went to my high school, Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach.
    Strange but true.
    Great blog!

  8. Aaron October 28, 2006 at 12:09 am - Reply

    That playlist was clearly created by someone way over age 30. The only one I even identified with was Bon Jovi.

  9. Rodney October 28, 2006 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    We are big fans and have all read the Art of The Start. When it comes to presenting to the VC’s I agree on your points.
    Pam’s list of songs was interesting, I happen to like Richards suggestion of “Running down a dream” by Tom Petty.
    You might also be interested to see a video documentary series that we are publishing on a weekly basis called: 30 Days to Launch: A real behind the scenes look into the life of a Start Up. We are showing all of the challenges that Entrepreneurs face, we hope the video documentary series is educational, informative and entertaining. You can see and share in the journey here.
    We are also building this business right out in the open so that readers of the blog have the opportunity to participate in everything from design input to functional specs (we will be sharing many things as we progress) and suggest how we can become even better. Truly a very unique approach in a business launch.

  10. Harry Chong October 29, 2006 at 7:28 am - Reply

    “You make it short because the gods are busy people.”
    Wait a minute, if gods are people…
    Good point. I fixed. Thanks!

  11. Alex Lawrence October 29, 2006 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I am a self-made entrepreneur with a successful group of companies that are really starting to blossom. The Art Of The Start has a lot to do with some key decisions I made/make. Thank you!
    I enjoy blogging for my personal outlet, but would really appreciate a moment for you to comment on my blog if you can. My blog is at:
    I speak my heart and mind, based on my experiences, and am very curious to note what you might think of my posts. In your free time of course 😉
    Either way, thanks again for a great book.

  12. Liquid Fusion (R) October 30, 2006 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Hi. Finally found this place!! It’s always great to hear manna from heaven again and again and again….
    Dream3 (cubed) is a great NEW song for entrepreneurs from an exciting new artist -Lorayne – entered into the Best Dance Track / 49th (current) Grammy Awards by Liquid Fusion (R) Records. It’s the beat. The groove. Finding what works. Cleaning out negative frequencies from the mix. Just like real life!! BTW the vocals come from CA / the music: Germany / The label: NYC. We are one world. And it’s as fast as imagination….
    Hi Guy!!!!
    Brewer Shettles
    PS Remember at your talk here in NYC a few years ago, I had a copy of “Art of the Start” when you wanted to show the audience the inside jacket entries!! How great and cool of you to give all of those other artists opportunity for recognition!!
    Enjoy the song!!

  13. Lee M October 30, 2006 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Wow, at 24 years old i struggled to recognised 1 of the songs. Maybe all the entrepreneur’s were over 30?

  14. Pamela Slim October 30, 2006 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Aaron and Lee:
    Yes, as you guessed by song choice, I am not 22 — 40 to be exact. Although I like to think of myself as riding with the times, when I need music to fire me up, I tend to go with the “golden oldies” of my day.
    I would say that most new artists are influenced by the generation before … just as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were influenced by Blues great Johnnie Lee Hooker, modern day producers like Jay Z are certainly influenced by predecessors like Stevie Wonder. I like to think that some music transcends generations. I still get fired up by Ella Fitzgerald and Tommy Dorsey.
    Give yourselves a decade or so and you may find yourself dusting your parents’ old records off and being surprised by what you hear, as unfathomable as it seems now.
    Aging is a wonderful mind-opener. 🙂

  15. Gubatron October 31, 2006 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Top Ten Entrepreneur’s Song List

    Hi Guy Kawaasaki!!!,Our RSS engine has fetched and linked this post to our homepage (, if the post gets enough attention this week, we’ll talk about it on our next podcast (http:/…

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