Guy Kawasaki is a master of evangelism marketing, which is described as an advanced form of word-of-mouth-marketing by which companies develop customers who so passionately embrace products or services that they voluntarily attempt to convince others to buy and use those products and services. A native of Honolulu, Kawasaki developed his marketing skills while employed by Apple as chief evangelist in the early to mid-1980s.
Kawasaki is the author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the Web and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.
Kawasaki is the author of nine other books, including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream and The Macintosh Way. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA.
As he prepared to speak at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center on Nov. 17 as part of Belmont’s Fall Leadership Breakfast series, Kawasaki took some time while traveling abroad to answer via email some questions from Nashville Post Managing Editor William Williams.
CP: Your 10th book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, was released this year. Do you plan to keep writing, and if so, what might we expect in the future?
Kawasaki: I always think that my last book is my last book, but it never seems to work out that way. I am planning to write a book about Google+ because I like the service so much.
You currently serve as managing director of Garage Technology Ventures and have been involved in the rumor-reporting site Truemors and the RSS aggregator Alltop. You also are busy as a blogger and, of course, an author. And you have a family. How many hours do you sleep per night?
Not enough! I go to bed around 1 a.m. and get up at 7:15 a.m. I am slowly losing my mind because of sleep deprivation!
How familiar are you with Nashville and/or its business community?
Honestly, not very much. I know that the Sharks dominate the Predators, though.
As a venture capitalist, do you feel Nashville is a strong city for entrepreneurs?
I don’t know enough about it to answer the question. Because of the Internet, geographic location is less and less important. I’d rather have a kick-butt company in Nashville than a me-too company in Silicon Valley. Talent is where you find it.
You are considered the “father of evangelism marketing.” How do feel about that?
It’s a lot of responsibility to bear. I wasn’t the first evangelist at Apple, though. That was Mike Boich.
You worked at Apple in the mid-1980s. How did that shape you?
Working at Apple shaped me down to the core. It raised expectations for what one can do in life and how people can change the world. It also raised my appreciation of design.
Any other thoughts?
What’s the first thing an entrepreneur should do? Prototype the product is the first thing — not craft a pitch, business plan or spreadsheet. The key is to get working. Entrepreneurship is about doing, not planning to do or intending to do.
The Guy Kawasaki file
* Guy Kawasaki was born in Honolulu in 1954. His mother was a housewife, and his father worked at various times as a fireman, a real estate broker, a state senator and a government official.
* In high school, Kawasaki studied under AP English teacher Harold Keables. He said Keables taught him “the key to writing is editing.”
* After graduating from Stanford University, Kawasaki studied at UCLA, earning an MBA. While there, he worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings — literally counting diamonds. It was at Nova that he learned how to sell, a skill he calls “vital” to his career.
* During the 1980s and 1990s, Kawasaki worked on two occasions at Apple, where he became known as a “marketing evangelist” and developed his national reputation.
* After leaving Apple, Kawasaki helped start, with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes, an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com. He also co-founded Alltop, an online magazine rack that features popular topics on the web.
* Kawasaki refers to himself as a “hockey addict,” actually playing the game. He lives near San Jose and is a major Sharks fan.
— Material taken from w.guykawasaki.com/about