August 05, 2011, 1:29 PM — I'm not sure I totally agree with everything he says, but entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki thinks many people running start-ups undermine themselves to investors and customers in several ways -- none of which have to do with business plans or technological dazzle.
No, Kawasaki thinks many entrepreneurs struggle because they're not likable.
While I concur with Kawasaki that being likable generally is a very good thing, I truly don't believe it's a deal-killer in Silicon Valley. If you have an idea that investors think they can make millions off of, most probably are willing to overlook your interpersonal shortcomings and sociopathic tendencies. Plus they can eventually force you out of your own company.
In the video below, Kawasaki lays out his three-point likability plan to an audience at Stanford University as part of its Entrepreneur Thought Leader Lecture series.
The video is less than four minutes long, and Kawasaki is an engaging speaker (he better be with this topic matter!), so it's worth a bit of your time, especially on a summer Friday.
Video highlight: A complex formula laying out the components of a perfect handshake. One key to a perfect handshake is what is known as a "Duchenne smile." According to Wikipedia, a Duchenne smile involves using "both your zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes)."
In other words, a genuine smile, not a freaky Heath Ledger "Joker" smile.
(H/T to our friends at Venturebeat)
Read more of Chris Nerney's Tech Business Today blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.