What’s Your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)?

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Here’s a quiz to determine your “entrepreneurial quotient.” My intent is to test a person’s knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesn’t mean you’re the next Steve Jobs, and scoring low doesn’t mean you’re not. Some answers are debatable, so there will be many comments. #10, in particular, is tricky so read it very carefully.

If you’d like to take an online version, go here on the Tickle site:


1. Your company is creating a new software product. The lead programmer has just shown you a working prototype and has promised that it will be done in six months. You should assume that it will really be completed in:

a. 3 months
b. 6 months
c. 12 months
d. 18 months
e. Shortly after money runs out

2. When you’re starting a new company, you shouldn’t be afraid of polarizing people with a new product or service that flies in the face of convention.

a. True
b. False

3. Patents are the main way to make your company defensible and able to withstand the challenges of competitors.

a. True
b. False

4. The foundation of a successful brand is:

a. Effective marketing
b. Evangelistic customers
c. Extensive advertising
d. Attractive packaging
e. An excellent product or service

5. Ultimately, who positions a product or service—establishing how customers will come to view it?

a. The company that makes it.
b. The company’s advertising agency
c. The company’s PR firm
d. The customers themselves
e. The press, and industry analysts

6. If you want your company to be successful, it’s most important to strive for which objective?

a. To be the lowest cost producer
b. To be the best known brand
c. To be the most profitable company
d. To be the sole provider of something people really want
e. To have the largest customer base

7. When pitching potential investors, you should keep your presentation to how many slides?

a. 0-5
b. 10-15
c. 30-40
d. 1
e. 60

8. As long as the founders own more than half of the company, they control the company.

a. True
b. False

9. Pick the statement that means a venture capitalist isn’t interested in your business.

a. “You’re too early right now.”
b. “We don’t have expertise in that area.”
c. “If you find other investors, come back to us.”
d. “Come back to us after you’re shipped.”
e. All of the above.

10. Which part of a business plan is the most important?

a. The financial projections
b. The management biographies
c. The competitive analysis
d. The executive summary
e. The product description

11. More than anything, you don’t want your business model to be:

a. Specific
b. Simple
c. Unique
d. Scalable
e. Proven

12. Which of the following key assumptions do you have to test when starting a company?

a. Number of sales calls a salesperson can make
b. Conversion rate of prospects to customers
c. Length of sales cycle
d. Amount of technical support needed per unit sold
e. All of the above

13. A company that is bootstrapping should avoid which management practice?

a. Managing for cash flow, not profitability
b. Trying to recruit a “dream” management team of proven executives
c. Positioning against the industry leader
d. Building a bottom-up forecast
e. Collecting fast and paying slow

14. Many behemoth companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and 3M have broad and disparate product lines, but ironically started out with singular focus on one specific product.

a. True
b. False

15. You’ve just met with a key potential account. It could be a large sale and also bolster your company’s credibility in the industry. However, the account is afraid to do business with a “startup.” The best way to win them over is to:

a. Ask your world-famous venture capitalist investor to call the customer.
b. Arrange for the CEO of your company to meet with the buyer.
c. Offer to do a pilot implementation at a deep discount.
d. Tell the customer that you will contact them once your company is “proven” in the marketplace.
e. Have your mom provide a character reference for you.

16. In the first sixty seconds of a presentation, you should:

a. Furnish your biographical background
b. Establish the size of the market you are addressing
c. Provide a summary of your financial projections
d. Summarize the technical foundation of your product or service
e. Explain what your company does

17. What’s the most important factor to consider when selecting the first employees at a startup?

a. The candidate’s academic background
b. The candidate’s work experience
c. The candidate’s love of your product or service
d. The candidate’s willingness to work for stock options in lieu of salary
e. The candidate’s prior personal relationship with you

18. Why should you never offer stock to an employee in lieu of salary?

a. Doing so sets an implicit price for your stock.
b. It could take a long time to raise venture capital, so the employee might amass a large amount of stock.
c. This practice is prohibited by law.
d. A and B
e. A, B, and C

19. The purpose of providing an offer letter to a job candidate is to:

a. Establish a starting point for negotiation
b. Demonstrate that the company is serious about an offer
c. Confirm what both parties have already verbally agreed to
d. Create an audit trail for the human resource department
e. All of the above

20. The best reason to form a partnership is to:

a. Increase revenues or decrease costs
b. Get the attention of analysts
c. Garnering press coverage
d. Scare your competitors
e. Impress potential investors

21. The reason to put an “out clause” in a partnership agreement is

a. To enable you to get out of a bad deal
b. To make your lawyers happy
c. To enable both parties to work comfortably with each other
d. Because all agreements have “out clauses”
e. None of the above.

22. The CEO of your company just told you that he and the CEO of another company have agreed to a partnership. Your first task, as vp of strategic alliances, is to

a. Contact the PR firms of both organizations to coordinate the announcement
b. Contact the vp of marketing of both organizations to coordinate the announcement
c. Meet with the middle managers and individual contributors in your company who are going to have to make this partnership work
d. Thoroughly research the other company to determine how best to work with it
e. Begin drafting a rollout plan for the partnership


1. c; 2. a; 3. b; 4. e; 5. d; 6. d; 7. b; 8. b; 9. e; 10. d; 11. c; 12. e; 13. b; 14. a; 15. c; 16. e; 17. c; 18. d; 19. c; 20. a; 21. c; 22. c

By |2016-10-24T14:28:11+00:00March 9th, 2006|Categories: Entrepreneurship|Tags: , , |53 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. John Nguyen March 9, 2006 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Cool Test!!!
    I’m a diligent little oriental, i scored highest in marketing.

  2. Khurram March 9, 2006 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Brilliant idea to test us Guy! Puts the reading of your blog into perspective.
    I’ve been doing a part time virtual entrepreneurship course through reading blogs and learning from leaders online. This was a great way to see how I’m doing.

  3. Aaron March 9, 2006 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I scored highest in sales. Great test

  4. Francisco Tolmasky March 9, 2006 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    wait, for 1, does b mean what you labeled as b, because there are two a’s.

  5. Rajan March 9, 2006 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Normally such Objective questions come with some guidelines indicating if you score in a certain range then you belong to this category etc. Since you published these questions why not publish those categories as well.
    I scored 16/22

  6. Rajan March 10, 2006 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Talking about polarization I should tell you that the online test that you linked here sucks.Very sleazy marketing ! It inserted a question of dating in between

  7. Shivp March 10, 2006 at 12:41 am - Reply

    I have a query on question 13. Isn’t it option C as bad as option B. If we bootstrap and simultaneously position against an industry leader, are we not becoming a prey to the mighty? Isn’t it better to focus on a niche area, build business and then slowly expand?

  8. WTJ March 10, 2006 at 1:23 am - Reply

    scored 69% or lower!

  9. Digital Digressions March 10, 2006 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Monopoly Cards I’d like to see

    Guy Kawasaki runs an interesting survey to determine what your Entrepreneurial Quotient (EQ) is and having done that first thing this morning, with a hang-over – I can safely say that either hang-overs aren’t very conducive to entrepreneurial decision-…

  10. Hira March 10, 2006 at 2:07 am - Reply

    This is awesome!
    Not just to get a sense of your own EQ, but this is also a very good tool for those considering a partnership. It brings up a number of issues that are easy to forget when the euphoria of changing the world has impaired your judgement.
    I especially love your options for # 15. How about another couple of bad ideas:
    f. Spend more than 10 meetings trying to convince your customer with nothing new except for miniscule price reductions
    g: Lay a guilt trip on them about the fact that if every customer felt this way, no start-up would be successful

  11. Glen Raphael March 10, 2006 at 2:09 am - Reply

    I answered false to question 5 because the statement “[they] started out with singular focus on one specific product” wasn’t in the least ironic. Self-evident and obvious, yes. But ironic?
    I also found it truly strange that the test threw in an extra question which was an ad for DoubleYourDating. Was this deliberate? Is it a service you support or make money from?

  12. Futurelab's Blog March 10, 2006 at 2:21 am - Reply

    What’s Your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)?

    by: Guy Kawasaki Here’s a quiz to determine your entrepreneurial quotient. My intent is to test a person’s knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesn’t mean you’re the next Steve Jobs, and scoring low doesn’t mean you’re n…

  13. Doug Hanna March 10, 2006 at 6:18 am - Reply

    I got three wrong, so I think that makes it a 19/22, or an 86.
    It seems very much like a test for your blog and book – if you’ve read them, you know the answers. 😛
    Interesting test, though.

  14. hadleystern.com March 10, 2006 at 6:27 am - Reply

    What is your EQ?

    A great piece on Guy Kawasakis site about entrepreneurial quotient. I got most of them right. Give it a spin!

  15. Ric March 10, 2006 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Thanks to a generous gift of ‘Art of the Start’, I was able to answer nearly all of these correctly! Yes – it arrived safely, Guy – thanks again.

  16. Alex Krupp March 10, 2006 at 7:52 am - Reply

    21/22, the only one I got wrong was 16 which I disagree with. I think in the first 60 seconds you should introduce yourself and figure out what the people you’re talking with are interested in so that you can present the rest of the pitch in a way that resonates with them.

  17. keith ray March 10, 2006 at 8:31 am - Reply

    If the development team is using Extreme Programming, the “working prototype” demoed every two week is a shippable/deployable product. You ship or deploy to end-users when it’s got enough features, and your tracking of team “velocity” provides a calibrated estimate of how many features can be done in six months.
    see “Introducing XP in a start-up”

  18. Vivek March 10, 2006 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I just took the test and would disagree with one of answers. It’s the question on whether to compensate an employee with just stock. You can properly balance your startup’s interest this by having a vesting schedule, a cliff, and allowing a conditional pre-purchase of the stock at a very low valuation (when you start the company).

  19. Harry Chong March 10, 2006 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I got every single question wrong. 0 out of 22.

  20. Max March 10, 2006 at 9:00 am - Reply

    question 18 is tricky. In WA state you must pay minimum wage to non-officers. that would make d the right answer.

  21. Scott Case March 10, 2006 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Great list. I found the first question both amusing and sad. I’m afraid there are many ‘e’ realities but ‘c’ is certainly the average 2X factor for IT estimates.
    Differences of opinion:
    #15 – most startups would have the CEO at the meeting anyway. However, selling your first customer at a deep discount can be problematic as well, especially if there is an ongoing revenue component.
    #21 – out clauses are good business which is why C is the right answer. BUT, you should never, ever, ever, never enter into a partnership where there is even an inkling of a business (not contract lawyer) thought that it might not work out. In other words, if you think at the time you sign there is a probability that you will use the out clause, walk away.

  22. Ronny Max March 10, 2006 at 11:09 am - Reply

    10 is the easiest one of all – if a person can’t explain (clearly!) the business plan in a paragraph, than the plan isn’t worth much.
    After all, all business plans are subject to change, but changes must be subjected to a plan.

  23. Stacy March 10, 2006 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I got a 77%, roughly a “C”. But that won’t dissuade me from bringing my service to market. Spot on blog entry GK.

  24. Jeremy E March 10, 2006 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I very much disagree with your answer to 15. If you offer a deep discount to one large customer, lots of bad things will happen. You will spend a disproportionate amount of time servicing what is probably your least profitable deal (or worse, your biggest loser). You will also be hurting your cash flow. And worst of all, after all that effort, you may not even get the larger deal after all, even if the product does everything it says it can, because they may not be able to convince their big company to do the deal.
    For example, the large company that I work for just plain won’t do deals with companies whose financials they don’t like, but there is no way for me to know if the financials will be good enough until after I’ve selected the vendor and done the pilot.
    I speak from experience here, being someone who works for one of those big companies that tries to take advantage of startups by offering them crappy deals for “pilot” programs. I always tell my friends I would never want to have to negotiate with our company lawyers.
    Someone (I thought it was you) said, “Don’t spend all of your time chasing the big fish.” That is excellent advice. The big fish aren’t always as great as they seem.

  25. Startup Fever March 10, 2006 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Whats your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)?

    Test your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient) with Guy Kawasakis EQ Quiz:
    Heres a quiz to determine your “entrepreneurial quotient.” My intent is to test a persons knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesnt …

  26. Patrick March 10, 2006 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    In response to question # 6 – If you want your company to be successful, it’s most important to strive for which objective?
    Jack Welch once said, “It takes three things; Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisifaction and Cash Flow”.

  27. james haft March 10, 2006 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Tickle sucks! They want my personal info so bad, that they refused to provide my score after I took the test, b/s i would not give an email address!
    Score that a BIG FAT ZERO for TICKLE!!
    btw, I got 19 of 22 correct and haven’t seen the “S” tatoo glowing on my chest!!! 🙂

  28. DaveMc500Hats March 10, 2006 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    hey guy –
    re: #22, while i agree with your answer as an *eventual* step that needs to be done, before i spend time with my organization’s middle mgmt i’d like to make sure i understand how the other company fits into the overall picture (and btw, if it doesn’t i’d go back to my CEO and ask him why he cut a partnership deal that didn’t make sense for us ;). after i’m clear on how it fits in with our company, only then would i spend time with the rest of my team.
    so i’d say the “first” task is to make sure the deal makes sense, and that i understand it. *then* i’d got to middle mgmt & get my team behind it & deliver.
    – dave mcclure

  29. nhira March 10, 2006 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Jeremy E.,
    (on your disagreement with # 15)
    I think you’re right to urge caution — organizations try to sucker freebies out of start-ups, but that should affect the continual assessment of whether the prospect is indeed a “key potential” client.
    In any such negotiation, both parties must get “equal value” from the transaction. If I give you a freebie pilot, I should be aware of what I just cost myself and be able to put that cost against something I’m gaining (access to brand or something) … something that I value. If we cannot craft such an equitable deal, then one of us is indeed a sucker.
    In short, if I’m being jipped, then I’m not working with a “key potential” client.

  30. Enthousiasmeren March 11, 2006 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Doe de ondernemers test – EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)

    Guy Kawasaki heeft een ondernemerstest op zijn weblog geplaatst. Je kunt de test doen op zijn weblog (zie bron) maar ook via onderstaande link.
    Via Tickle is het leuker aangezien ja dan het resultaat automatisch krijgt met een uitleg wat je no…

  31. George Soros March 11, 2006 at 10:31 am - Reply

    It turns out I scored highest in currency arbitrage…and I thought I might have done better in portfolio management theory…who would have thought?

  32. Clement Huang March 11, 2006 at 10:56 am - Reply

    for #6, shouldn’t we assume there’s always competition in any market,
    so brand recognition is the long term goal to win the game? Mightbe I misunderstand the “sole provider” context here…
    please advise.

  33. Gabe March 11, 2006 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Guy, I agree with most of the test and it’s very cool. However, I feel the answer to question #15 “to offer a deep discount” discredits the selling party some by saturating the market with a lower price. That will saturate the market with a lower price and the customer may expect you to continue with such a low cost implementation. In my experience, cutting your price only hurts a business and the marketplace
    I would be interested to hear what your reasons for that answer were?

  34. Redfin March 11, 2006 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    A Few Good Links

    A few interesting links to check out: An intrepid blogger at the Tacoma News Tribune promises to review Redfin’s site. Especially auspicious as this is a new real estate blog. And, we forgot to mention until now that Redfin and…

  35. ..ak March 12, 2006 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Maybe this isn’t the place for this but I’m one to show that who they use is actually hurting them… Tickle is worthless.
    first it asks for my personal information, including my email addresses so they can send me the results.
    second, I do fill it out with good information and I get
    “Thank you for your interest in this Tickle service. Unfortunately, we cannot permit you access to this service. Our apologies for any inconvenience.”
    Is this a scam to collect email addresses? Is Guy part of this scheme? Since Tickle is a Monster-owned company, what are they really doing with my information?

  36. FASTTIE.com - The fastest way to get around the In March 12, 2006 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Bona tempora volvantur–by Guy Kawasaki: What s Yo

    Bona tempora volvantur good test from Guy on deciding if you are set for a startup. I dont know if I agree with all of the answers but it is definitely a good prespective.

  37. Business Opportunities Weblog March 12, 2006 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Whats Your EQ (Entrepreneurial Quotient)?

    Guy Kawasaki:
    Heres a quiz to determine your “entrepreneurial quotient.” My intent is to test a persons knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesnt mean youre the next Steve Jobs, and scoring low doesn&…

  38. Burned March 13, 2006 at 4:25 am - Reply

    My wrongs…
    1. c not b – you must be an optimist to be an entrepreneur! 🙂
    4. b not e – having a great product won’t stop a great second mover. Loyal customers and a unique business model will mean you can fight another day.
    6. c not d – c’mon… now were being too optimistic! “Patient for growth, impatient for profit” is the way to success. C.M.C.
    11. e not c – I guess I just can’t stop at product innovation…
    15. d not c – I will follow Geoff Moore’s advice on this one. If their not ready, find a customer that is.
    19. b not c – I can see the error in my ways.
    21. a not c – believe me, people leave, partners sell. Keep an out.
    … and I have paid for them.
    Good test Guy, but as you say they are open to debate, which like everything in this world is context dependent.

  39. eclectic living March 13, 2006 at 8:33 am - Reply

    测测你的“企业商数”(EQ-entrepreneurial quotient)

    Guy Kawasaki是一位创业者和投资家,他写作一个颇为知名的blog,里面经常能够读到他的创业与经营思想,很有见地。这里有一个他提供的小测试,测试你的“EQ”(entrepreneurial quotient)--“企业商数”,其实就是他设计的一个了解你是否具备基本创业知识的小测验,一共有22道题。有兴趣的朋友不妨花几分钟…

  40. Mike S March 13, 2006 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Great test Guy, I only got a 69%. I must be less talented than the others around here, or just less knowledge of the process. I can rectify the lack of knowledge at least.
    Not entirely sure the low cost producer is always the way to go, although in the tech world it tends to work. there is a huge demand for high quality products too, and a plan that involves competing around quality in some market segments may be very profitable.

  41. blog.mchiu.com March 13, 2006 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?

    According to Guy Kawasaki, I obviously am not… but maybe that explains why I’m on the other side of the table talking to entrpreneurs instead. On his blog site, Guy Kawasaki has an entry entitled “What’s Your EQ? (Entrepreneurial Quotient)”…

  42. Andrew March 16, 2006 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Very cool test! I’m gradually learning about all of this as I go.

  43. Dan March 25, 2006 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Guy, have you tried to take your own survey on Tickle? When I tried to sign in it said, “I’m sorry, we can’t offer you this service”. So I used bugmenot. After going through the entire survey (including one question disguised to look like it was from you but actually was a spam offer) it proceeded to hit me with page after page of “special offers”. I couldn’t figure out how to get past them, so I’ll never know how I did on the test… and will never use tickle again. Thanks, Tickle.

  44. Krasimir [FilmDailies.com] March 27, 2006 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Got all of them right but one! What do I get, Guy?
    You said you gonna invest in my unique business model 🙂
    P.S. Excellent post, always a pleasure to read your blog.

  45. Ha Trung March 29, 2006 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    In question 13 (regarding the management practice that a bootstrapping company should avoid), the choice (a) should be changed to “managing for cash flow, not profitability”–to make it a wrong answer.

  46. Guy Kawasaki March 30, 2006 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Ha Trung,
    You’re right! I’ll fix. Thanks for catching this.

  47. The Entrepreneur's Wife May 18, 2006 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Great quiz! Every prospective entrepreneur should have to pass this with flying colours before getting their funding. 🙂

  48. Dipo Tepede June 7, 2006 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Entrepreneurs are rare breed, they are not trained. This EQ brings to focus a challenging task of appointing set criteriums for entrepreneurship.
    I practically condemn it….

  49. Business Owner's Blog August 17, 2006 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Entrepreneurial Test

    I have a problem with this test of your Entrepreneurial Quotient posted by Guy Kawasaki. My problem is that while I agree with all the questions and answers save one [more on that in a minute] I dont think its about entrepreneurial quotie…

  50. flatfeemlsmarketing January 20, 2007 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Yes, great idea. I have to laugh at myself because many of the correct answers are things that I learned after my 1st startup ran out of money 😉
    I guess I’ll just have to apply them to the next business.
    FYI – It would be great to put this up in a survey format that would provide an instant score.

  51. Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog September 8, 2007 at 6:36 am - Reply

    What’s Your EQ (entrepreneurial quotient)?

    by: Guy Kawasaki Heres a quiz to determine your entrepreneurial quotient. My intent is to test a persons knowledge of entrepreneurship. However, scoring high doesnt mean youre the next Steve Jobs, and scoring low doesn…

  52. Aspiring entrepreneur November 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Did the test here but don’t see the results analysis. Tickle page doesn’t work. Can someone direct me to where I can find the information?
    Many thanks

  53. lisa February 22, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I got 8/22.and expected an explanation for the score, but can not find one.

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