An Interview with Guy Kawasaki: The Man Who Made Apple “Cool”

Posted on 22. Dec, 2009 by in iPhone, Marketing, Web

By: Hillel Fuld

Since I have been using Twitter, I have had the unique privilege of connecting with some seriously amazing people. Now I say “unique” because if not for Twitter, I would never have come across these individuals who enhance my life daily and on so many levels. One of these people is Guy Kawasaki, who besides having one of the coolest names in the industry is also one of the most important people in tech.

Guy is important for so many reasons, but for me, the fact that one can claim that Guy is single handedly responsible for creating Apple’s “cool” image, puts him in a category of his own. Guy was one of the Apple employees who was involved in promoting and marketing the original Mac back in 1984, when it was not cool yet.  Guy is also a well known venture capitalist, and pretty much any blogger’s role model. He is involved in many projects and websites, such as the famous content aggregator, Alltop, and the Tweetmeme button you see on the top right corner of this post. I am not exaggerating when I say “everything Guy touches turns to gold”. However, just like all successful people, Guy has some unique advice for people starting out, and his answers might surprise you. He will not tell you to wait till your product is perfect before releasing it, in that sense, he is more like an X Google employee than an Apple one.

So, here is the short but important interview I conducted with Guy Kawasaki.

1: How would you summarize Guy Kawasaki in 140 characters or less?

“Empower people”- Now there is a man who keeps it short and sweet.

2: How do you think the Web will be different five years down the road?

“Apple will totally control it. Before a website or blog launches, the Apple web store has to approve it. The process will take anywhere from a week to a month.”- Now THAT is an interesting concept. Do you see that happening? Let me know in the comments.

3: How did you get started on the web?

“I got involved with email through an internal Apple system called AppleLink. My first exposure was CompuServe and America Online.”

4: What is the biggest mistake you have made with your online business?

“It’s not that I haven’t made mistakes, but I don’t have any bonecrusher to talk about. The key to online business is not to fix quickly, not try to never make mistakes. In fact, the biggest mistake you can make with an online business is to try to do everything perfectly—and therefore not evolve fast enough.”- Very interesting considering Apple’s policy (or more accurately, Steve Jobs’ policy, on releasing imperfect products).

5: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting out with an online company?

“Don’t worry, be crappy. That is, get your site launched. Don’t try to create the perfect site before you launch it.” – See my above comment.

6: What tools do you use to manage your time?

“The calendar part of Entourage.”- Hardcore fanboy!

7: iPhone or Android?

“Iphone right now, but the Google phone is very cool. Stay tuned.”- No surprises there.

8: Mac or PC?

“You’re kidding, right?”- I had to ask, just couldn’t help myself.

9: All time favorite app?

“This is a tough one: Claris Emailer or TweetDeck probably.”- Nice to know we agree on the best Twitter client.

That is where the interview ends, but I am including Guy’s signature in this post, because it will give you a clear picture of who Guy really is. A man involved in various projects, but always knows how to have a good laugh and make light of the situation.

—–

Guy Kawasaki
Alltop
360 Bryant Street, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94301
guy@alltop.com (best way to get in touch)
http://twitter.com/guykawasaki (if you have no life)

http://my.alltop.com/guykawasaki (what I read)
http://blog.guykawasaki.com/ (why I have no life)
http://holykaw.com/ (how I have fun in my life)

6xx-xxx-xxxx office (you’ll never get me here)
3xx-xxx-x cell (Spinvox will convert voicemail to email so I don’t have to listen to people ramble)
6xx-xxx-xxx fax (what’s a fax?)

Guy Kawasaki is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter because he provides interesting and unique content about any topic imaginable.  I would like to thank him both for his contribution to the tech world and the worldwide Web, and for the unique opportunity to interview him on Tech N’ Marketing.

Below you can (and must) watch one of my favorite Guy Kawasaki videos. He introduces his famous 10 20 30 rule for giving presentations. This is a MUST watch, and if you have ever watched any video I posted, this should be it!


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16 Responses to “An Interview with Guy Kawasaki: The Man Who Made Apple “Cool””

  1. Lisa

    22. Dec, 2009

    Regarding Guy’s answer to #2, that is a very scary thought. He’s right in many ways though. In five years more people will use mobile devices to connect to the web than desktops. Companies and blogs will need to have mobile web-friendly sites in the same way that now they have to be IE/FF/Chrome-friendly and applications will be the way for the most effective interactions. Since the iPhone isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and will continue to gain more of the mobile market, creating apps for the iPhone will become even more essential for reaching audiences. While I understand Apple’s censorship in the app store, when Guy puts it in these terms, that’s scary.

  2. hilzfuld

    22. Dec, 2009

    Thanks Lisa, I could not agree more. I feel like between Apple and Google, every aspect of our lives will be dictated to us in the near future.

  3. Oren Todoros

    22. Dec, 2009

    Interesting little read. I’m not to sure about blogs and websites being controlled by Apple though, that sounds a little too far fetched. The internet has always been about user generated content. Once and IF it turns to Apple Approved Content, it’s going to become a very monotonous environment.

  4. Sharel

    22. Dec, 2009

    Love it! thanks man.

    my favorite quite:
    “the biggest mistake you can make with an online business is to try to do everything perfectly—and therefore not evolve fast enough”

    we do try to make thinks too perfect and over-think it.

  5. yitz..

    22. Dec, 2009

    the most convenient form of #2 in the future would be to have a way to auto-install (with user permission of course) a mobile app if you visit that app’s website from your mobile.

    that way i don’t need to search the appstore for the facebook app etc.

    you should be able to go to a url and begin a download..

    what to do w/ phishing then? good question :)

    (maybe it could be like configuring an openSearch xml on your domain, only it would be an openApp xml)

  6. Olivier

    22. Dec, 2009

    Nice catch Hillel.

    Guy is a fantastic marketer. He’s succeeded a couple of times over but the cult that is Apple seems to have helped a little more than is deserved. I’m not really a fan and more than that I really have him in a category now that’s noise or spam.

    Again, great getting an interview with Guy. Very nice job.

  7. hilzfuld

    22. Dec, 2009

    Thanks guys. Olivier, I hear that, but then again, you dont follow me so… :)

  8. Rena

    22. Dec, 2009

    No Way. There is no way that people are going to go from immediate gratification of getting their information out immediately to waiting for Apple to approve.

    I think that Apple makes great products, but their customer service really leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve recently had a lot of problems with them, and found out that I am not in the minority of people who are less than satisfied. It’s a pity that they don’t have more people like Guy to straighten up their act.

    Cool interview.

  9. Slipdisc

    22. Dec, 2009

    This video makes me laught. I don’t think Guy made Apple “cool” http://bit.ly/5io91z

  10. Damion

    22. Dec, 2009

    @hilzfuld:

    If it is not Google or Apple, it would be Microsoft or Nokia or even worse, AT&T or Verizon dictating the terms to the end user. We should be glad that the company that owns the network does not dictates the software we are allowed to use.

    The idea that companies will dictate our lives is somewhat over-hyped. I believe the main area where consumers need more to focus on are the telecommunication companies. I firmly believe that these companies should not be allowed to dictate anything more then a fair price for bandwidth. Some of these companies act deceptively and try to fool the public into believing that bandwidth is equal to oil.

    I believe that Telcos and content need to be separated because of conflicts of interest eg: supporting one’s own content with better quality then another competitor, or by blocking it It remains to be fully seen how this will play out and it should be a concern.

    Comcast has already shown us that.

    I feel this is where people need to be looking.

  11. Ashley

    24. Dec, 2009

    Come on folks, I think Guy was joking about Apple and the Web site approval. Cheers, Ashley.

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