Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva
Tech Evangelism and the Ministry of Guy Kawasaki
During one of Guy Kawasaki’s first marketing assignments in the early 1980s, he would knock on the doors of startup software companies across Silicon Valley armed with a stack of non-disclosure agreements and a prototype computer in a bag. “We would say, ‘If you sign this, we’ll show you what’s in the bag,’” he says. The prototype, Kawasaki explains, was a top secret project that, if knowledge of it was widespread, would cannibalize sales of their main computer hardware product. It’s name? Macintosh—a project run by a team of developers at Apple, headed up by Jef Raskin and a then 29-year-old Steve Jobs. As far as marketing a computer is concerned, “it was hand-to-hand combat.”
Of course, Kawasaki was successful in his efforts marketing the Macintosh, and the rest is history. Today, Guy Kawasaki is a famed tech startup guru who notoriously spearheaded the marketing cause for Apple in 1984, before going on to work on a number of startups, a venture capital firm, and a stint at Google. Further, he’s authored no less than 13 popular books, many of which embedded themselves on New York Times bestseller lists as required reading on startups. Despite such a diverse portfolio, his job title remains simple. If you were you to hold one of Guy Kawasaki’s business cards, it would read: Technology Evangelist.
It’s a title that stands out, because when you think evangelist, the image that often pops into mind is that of a middle-aged man with slick hair, a pink suit and a Texan accent on late-night television, prancing about on a stage and shouting about the bible. In Kawasaki’s case, that couldn’t be further from the mark.
At 61, Guy Kawasaki comes off as a truly decent human being, affable, humble and easy-going. The sort of guy you’d be happy chatting with at a friend’s barbecue for hours without having to fake a bathroom visit to get away.
So what exactly is evangelism, as opposed to regular old marketing, when it comes to tech?
The main difference between a marketer and an evangelist is one of motivation. The aim of an evangelist, religious or technical, is not to make money. It is to bring about passion in people, and by doing so, change the world. The end goal is to inspire and, hopefully, convert the audience. Kawasaki once said, quoted in Forbes, “Evangelism isn’t a job title, it’s a way of life.”
You could describe Steve Jobs as a technology evangelist, and Vint Cerf at Google. But Kawasaki lays claim to the title since he first used the word “evangelist” to describe his role at Apple. Not that he got that job because he was especially qualified in the field of marketing. Or evangelism for that matter. “That job was purely because of nepotism,” he says. “The person who hired me was my college buddy,” he confesses with a laugh. “Because on paper, I certainly was not adequately qualified to do the job.”
So what does it mean to be an evangelist for a company like Apple? First, ditch the associations with late night TV. Kawasaki explains that the literal meaning of evangelism comes from the Greek word meaning bringing the good news.
That sounds simple, but as far as the nitty gritty of organizing strategies, the position grows in complexity. Kawasaki has become a master strategist on getting the word out, something he is doing currently as chief evangelist for Canva, the Sydney-based design service. “They found me because I was using their service,” Kawasaki says. “I brought the good news of Macintosh democratizing computing, now I’m bringing the good news of Canva democratizing design. And so my role now is to spread the good news of Canva. That is, to make people aware that ‘there is a better way,’ as Steve Jobs once said.”
So why is the news about Canva so good? The company is in the business of making design more accessible, Kawasaki explains. “It means people do not have to buy or rent an expensive product and go through a very long and difficult learning curve. Just as Macintosh in the mid-80s democratized computing, where you didn’t have to be an IT or MIS geek, you can now use something with a beautiful graphic user interface. That is what Canva is trying to do for design. To empower more people to do great designs. It’s because people have figured out that this is a busy and hectic world and to stand out from the crowd you can’t just use text. You need visual marketing. In a world of visual marketing, you have to create graphics. And I can tell you that I believe that we’re the best way for most people to create graphics.” And his evangelism efforts seem to be succeeding. “Canva is rocking and rolling,” he says. “We’re signing up thousands upon thousands of new users every day.”
HOW TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
If there’s one person who knows how to get the word out about a brand, it’s Kawasaki. So how can you evangelize for your startup, especially without Apple’s budget? “Compared to being an evangelist in the mid-80s, it’s so much easier to be an evangelist today because of social media,” he says. “Social media allows you to reach millions of people all over the world; it’s fast, free and easy. When I was an evangelist for Macintosh, I had an analog phone and an airplane ticket and a car. The world has completely changed. Social media is the best thing ever happened to evangelism.”
Being active on social media is all well and good, but figuring out how to brand your content is another thing. If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely have wrestled with a question that is common today: Should you be building your own personal brand, or that of your company? And with the smorgasbord of platforms to choose from—Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any of the many others—which should you invest time in as a business owner?
Kawasaki cuts through the confusion: “If you’re working for a startup, you should be building the brand’s social media platform as opposed to the CEO’s. Very few CEOs know how to use social media well.” And nor should they have to. “Maybe the only exception is Richard Branson.” When it comes to social media, it should be all about the brand. “CEOs come and go, believe it or not. The brand has to stay.”
Kawasaki has a presence on social media that could safely be described as gargantuan, which wasn’t accidental, but rather the product of targeted use.
Despite his favorite platform changing every week, Kawasaki confesses that he has a soft spot for live streaming. “Facebook allows you to do live video, but only if you are using an app called Mentions.” However, the only people who can use Mentions are verified public figures, and there’s only about a thousand of them in the world, meaning there are only a thousand people who can use this Periscope- or Meerkat-like function on Facebook. “And I’m one of those thousand,” he says. “It is extremely well-done.”
Kawasaki explains that only yesterday he used Mentions to do two five-minute demonstrations of Canva and reached 70,000 people. “And about 15 to 20,000 people watched the videos. How else can you get 15,000 to 20,000 people to watch marketing videos while you’re standing in your office, with a time investment of 10 minutes?” That’s a long way from carrying a computer around town in a bag. But live streaming is only one aspect of Facebook that he’s drawn to. “Facebook has fantastic targeting geographically, and demographically. Of all the social media platforms that I work with, Facebook provides the most engagement and the most traffic.” There’s an endorsement that should be sent to Zuckerberg with an invoice.
With that in mind, if you’re looking to get your feet wet in social media, Kawasaki reminds us that “it all depends on what business you are in. If I were in the fashion business, I’d use maybe Instagram or Pinterest. If I were a professional consultant, accountant, lawyer, or something like that, it’d be LinkedIn.” But generally speaking, Kawasaki says, “I would start with Facebook.”
But before ripping up the social media terrain, Kawasaki emphasizes that the most important element of any startup is the product. If, like every other entrepreneur in the world, you’re concerned about shipping your first product, Kawasaki has constructed an easy filtration process. Those familiar with the lean startup movement and the work of Steve Blank will recognize the term MVP, or minimum viable product. This is your business’ first offering to the world. In Kawasaki’s book, he adds two Vs, changing the acronym to MVVVP. The other two Vs? Valuable and validating.
“You can ship something that is viable and can make a buck,” Kawasaki explains, “but it is not necessarily valuable in the sense that it changes the world. And it also might not validate your vision or perception or your understanding of the world.” Ideally, your product should do both. Once you think you do have a product that is both valuable and validates your understanding of the world, how do you know when you’re ready to ship?
“You don’t,” Kawasaki says. “Companies usually ship too late rather than too early. One good test is when you’re about to run out of money,” he laughs.
Before shipping, or even creating that product, some companies opt to seek venture capital, a move that Kawasaki firmly advises against. “Too much money is worse than too little,” he says. This is not as easy as it sounds. You want a challenge in Silicon Valley? “Try not to ever take venture capital, if possible.”
Kawasaki sits firmly in the camp of avoiding investors and advocating bootstrapping startups. However, if the idea of venture capital is a little too appealing, he advises to “prolong it, or at least postpone it for as long as possible.” The good news is, avoiding VC isn’t going to spoil the entrepreneurial ride. Now, thanks to crowdfunding, social media marketing, and open source tools, Kawasaki says, companies are easier and cheaper to start than ever.
So how is it that Kawasaki has managed to stand so far ahead of his competitors as far as tech evangelism is concerned? “I’m willing to grind it out,” he says. “I’m willing to work hard. I can outwork most people. There are people who are smarter than me, and there are people who can work harder, but there are very few people who are smarter and can work harder.”
Except perhaps willingness to prototype products, for an entrepreneur, few other things are sure to guarantee success, he says. Now armed with Kawasaki’s knowledge, go forth and spread the good news.
HACKING SOCIAL MEDIA: TWO KEY CONCEPTS TO DRIVE A WORLD-CLASS STRATEGY ON SOCIAL
Guy Kawasaki shares two simple ‘tests’ to apply to any content your company shares on social media to ensure that it has maximum traction online and has the maximum benefit for your business.
1. THE NPR TEST
Public radio provides great content all year long. And a few weeks a year it runs a pledge drive where it asks people for donations. And the only reason the pledge drive works is because it provides such great value to people all year. So when the pledge drive happens, people feel a need to reciprocate. They feel obligated. When running a business, you need to provide great value information, assistance, analysis, and entertainment over social media, so when you want to run promotions or your pledge drive, people feel the need to reciprocate or at least tolerate what you’re doing. The only reason you can get away with this and it works is because every other day of the year you’re merely providing great content.
2. THE RE-SHARE TEST
The way the re-share test works is simple: Everything you post you should post because you believe it’s so good that not only will your followers and friends like it, they will re-share it with their followers and friends. Because it is so useful, so informative, and so entertaining. If your content doesn’t meet that standard, don’t post it.
- How to inspire and convert your audience
- earn the importance of Visual Marketing
- The importance of building your brand’s social media platform
- Techniques on how you can evangelize for your startup without a huge budget
- Learn about the Two simple ‘tests’ to apply to any content your company shares on social media to ensure that it has maximum traction online and has the maximum benefit for your business
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Guy Kawasaki
Nathan: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Foundr Podcast. Hope you’re all having a great week. It’s coming towards Christmass which is summer for some of us here in Australia and other part of the world and then also cold for everyone else over the other side of the world. And, yeah, I hope things are slowing down for you guys. They’re certainly not slowing down for us but I’m looking forward to catching up on some stuff over the Christmass break. Things have been pretty crazy. As I mentioned on the previous episode, we’re working on some really, really cool products at the moment. One in particular called “Foundrs Club” which is going to be amazing. So, stay tuned for that. If you are on our Newsletter and wanna find out more about how you can be an inaugural member and join the supercool exclusive club for startup founders and entrepreneurs which we are really really pumped about. So, yeah, we got a lot going on and, that’s me in a nutshell.
So actually, another thing that’s pretty cool is, it’s my birthday. My birthday is December the 15th. So, by the time you’ll be listening to this episode, it will have just passed, my birthday. My birthday is always combined with Christmass and it really frustrates me because I always get joint. My birthday and my Christmass always gets combined, usually presents. So yeah, that’s it for me.
So let’s talk about today’s guest. He’s the one and only Guy Kawasaki. He was one of the early stage employees at Apple. Actually, was responsible for marketing the Macintosh in the early days. He was the Chief Evangelist for Apple. So, he actually popularized the word “Evangelist” in marketing and the concepts, Evangelism Marketing, and Technology Evangelism, and he’s done a lot of cool stuff. He’s pretty much a rockstar on social media. He’s an advisor to Motorola. He became the Chief Evangelist for Canva, a free graphic design website which is actually based here in Australia, and you know, he’s a massive, massive social media rockstar and guru when it comes to everything social media, startups, innovation, marketing, products, you name it.
So, there’s a lot of epic stuff that we covered, especially around marketing and social media. These things are not like the kind of stuff that we touched on. I really, really wanted to make sure that we didn’t touch on, I guess, you know, things that a current with social media right now, but really just timeless things that you can take away. These social media tips can serve you for really a very very long time. So, that’s it from me guys, I’m really really excited about today’s guest. He’s, like I said, and I keep saying this, he’s an absolute rockstar. I know you’re going love this episode. So, if you are enjoying our episodes and you wanna help support the brand, please do take the time to leave as a review. Please do check out the magazine. If you love these interviews, I know you’re gonna love the magazine. It’s the fruits of our labor. And also you know what? Check out the website. We’re doing heaps and epic…I don’t really mention this much, but we are doing heaps and heaps of epic blog posts and all sorts of really really useful content just to help you level up however we can. So, that’s it for me guys. Now, let’s jump into the show.
I’m going to start off with the same question I ask every one of our guests. How did you get your job?
Guy: Which one? I’ve had several.
Nathan: I guess what you are working on right now.
Guy: Right now I am the Chief Evangelist of Canva. And Canva, a Sydney-based online design service, found me. They found me because I was using their service.
Nathan: Awesome. And what about your first job?
Guy: My first job, well, you don’t mean my very first job but, the first job that you’re probably referring to is the Apple software Evangelist job. And that job was purely because of nepotism. That the person who hired me was my college buddy. Because on paper, I certainly was not adequately qualified to do the job.
Nathan: Okay, interesting. So, let’s touch on Canva because that’s actually…I’m based in Melbourne, messy fan of this startup. They’re based in Sydney, Australia. Tell us about what you love about Canva and for the audience that haven’t heard of Canva.
Guy: Well, Canva is in the business of democratizing design. So, it means that people do not have to buy or rent an expensive product and go through a very long and difficult learning curve. And just as Macintosh in the mid-’80s democratized computing where you didn’t have to be an IT or MIS geek, that you could now use something with a beautiful graphical user interface. That’s what Canva is trying to do for design, to empower more people to do great designs
Nathan: Awesome. And, you know, how’s that all going? Like, I’m really curious around this whole evangelism role.
Nathan: Like, how’s it going for you?
Guy: Canva is just rocking and rolling. Signing up thousands and thousands of people every day. It’s because I think people have now figured out that this is a very busy hectic world and to stand out from the crowd, you can’t just use text. So, you need to have visual marketing, and in a world with visual marketing, you have great graphics and I can tell you that I believe we are the best way for most people to create graphics.
Nathan: Yeah, I know. Look, it’s so…it’s such an amazing tool. It’s really really easy to use and I’d like to touch on just what it means to be an evangelist for a company. Like, what does your day look like? What’s your… I’m curious around your strategies and your tactics to help grow Canva and spread the word.
Guy: Yes.So first of all, to understand the concept. Evangelism comes from Greek words meaning “bringing the good news.” So, I brought the good news of Macintosh democratizing computing and now I’m bringing the good news of Canva democratizing design. And so, my role is to spread the good news of Canva. That is, to make people aware that “there is a better way,” as Steve Jobs once said. So, that’s my job. It’s the good news.
Nathan: And like, what sort of things are you doing now exactly, like out of curiosity? Because I think this might be really valuable to our audience. Like, because many…our audience is aspiring and novice stage entrepreneurs, so they might have just started something or wanting to start something and they wanna get the word out. You know, what sort of things can you recommend and you are practicing right now to get the word out? Because you’re a master at this.
Guy: Well, there are two things. One is digital and I can tell you, compared to being an evangelist in the mid-’80s to today, it is so much easier to be an evangelist because of social media. Social media enables people to reach millions of people all over the world fast, free and easy. And how…that just wasn’t true. When I was an evangelist for Macintosh, I had an analog phone and an airplane ticket and a car, right? So, you know, I would not be recording a Skype interview with someone in Melbourne, that’s for sure. So, the world has completely changed. So, social media is the best thing that ever happened to evangelism.
Nathan: So, you’re saying to build…you should be building your own personal brand to, I guess, provide value in certain marketplaces? Like…
Guy: Yeah, it depends. If you’re working for a startup, you know, probably you should be building the brand’s social media platform as opposed to the CEO’s. Very few CEOs really know how to use social media well. Maybe the only exception is Richard Branson. So, I think it’s all about the brand, especially because, you know, CEOs come and go, believe it or not, whereas the brand has to stay.
Nathan: Yeah, I know. That’s a great point. So, what are you doing on social? Because you’ve got a massive presence on social. What are some of the things that you’re doing on social that our audience can take away?
Guy: Well, there’s two key concepts for social that I think work. First is what I call the NPR Test. And that’s National Public Radio in the United States. I think in Australia, it’s ABC. It’s public radio, right? And here, public radio provides great content all year long and a few weeks a year, it runs a pledge drive where it’d ask people for donations. And the only reason why the pledge drive works is because it provides such great value all year to people. And so, when the pledge drive happens, people feel a need to reciprocate. They feel obligated. So the concept in social media is you provide great value, information, assistance, analysis, entertainment so that when you want to run your pledge drive, people feel a need to reciprocate or at least tolerate what you’re doing. So right now, Canva is announcing a major upgrade called Canva for Work and if you look at my social media presence, it’s very heavy with promotion. I am in the middle of my pledge drive right now. And the reason why I can get away with this and it works is because every other day of the year, I’m merely providing great curated and created content. So, that’s one concept.
The second concept is what I call the Reshare Test and the way the Reshare Test. And the way the Reshare Test works is that everything you post, you should believe is so good that not only will your followers and friends like it, they will re-share it to their followers and friends because it is so useful, so informative, so entertaining.
Nathan: Now these are great concepts. And, what is your…what’s your most favorite platform? What are you liking right now? It’s very hard to keep up. I’m looking at Periscope and I’m thinking that’s going to be a massive platform now but then Facebook is starting this, you know? What are your thoughts? I’m curious.
Guy: Well, it changes every week. I am on Facebook. Facebook enables you to do live video, but only if you’re using an application called Mentions, and the only people who can use Mentions are verified public figures. So, there’s only about 1,000 of them in the world. So, there’s only 1,000 people who can do Periscope/Meerkat-like function right now in Facebook and I’m one of those 1,000 and it is extremely well done. It looks like they learned all the mistakes of what Meerkat and Periscope did and they….they’re the first third if you will. And yesterday, I did two five-minute demos of Canva and I had about a reach of about I think, 70,000 people and about 15,000 or 20,000 people that actually watched the video.
Guy: So, you know, how else can you get 15,000 or 20,000 people to watch a marketing video standing in your office with an investment of 10 minutes? I mean…
Nathan: It’s crazy
Guy: You know, it is crazy.
Nathan: So, you really like live streaming?
Guy: I love live streaming.
Nathan: So, you think it’s the future?
Guy: Well, you know, that changes every day. But, you know, live streaming is one aspect of Facebook, right? So, Facebook has fantastic targeting demographically. Of all the social media platforms that I work with, Facebook provides the most engagement and the most traffic.
Nathan: Awesome. And I know you actually really like Google+ too, you like Twitter. You’re actually very big on them all. So, for somebody starting out, like what platform do you recommend to follow those two strategies that you gave?
Guy: Well, of course, it depends on what business. So, if I were in the fashion business, maybe Instagram or Pinterest. If I were, you know, a professional consultant, accountant, lawyer or something like that, it would be LinkedIn, but generally speaking, I would start with Facebook.
Nathan: Okay, awesome. And, let’s switch gears. I’d like to talk to you about bozosity. Can you tell us what that means and a little bit of an insight for our audience?
Guy: Yeah. So, bozosity is the concept of people who tell you that it can’t be done, it shouldn’t be done, it isn’t necessary. Negative naysaying kind of people. And I think there are two kinds of bozos. One bozo is unsuccessful. So, that’s not a dangerous bozo because you look at that person and you say, ” Well, you’re a loser. So why should I listen to a loser?” So, that’s not dangerous. The dangerous bozo is a bozo who is successful. And, when you look at that bozo who’s rich and famous, and owns a house in Australia, and owns a house in America, and owns a house in London, and Hong Kong, and you look at that filthy rich famous powerful person and that person says “can’t be done and shouldn’t be done” is necessary, you would probably be tempted to listen to that advice. That’s the dangerous one because, you know, very few people are rich, famous, powerful and smart.
Nathan: Interesting. So, there’s a lot of people out there that say things can’t be done there…like you would say, bozos. Can you give us an example of some crazy stories from your time of people saying that things can’t be done?
Guy: Well, just about every company in social media. Like, just imagine if somebody came to you, I don’t know, eight or nine years ago whenever and said, “Well, we’re going to enable people to send 140 character text messages.” You know, you can do that now with SMS, and you can do that with Chat, and God forbid, you could even send short emails, you know. Why would anybody do Twitter? And, like YouTube, you’d say, “Well, so we’re going to enable people to upload stolen video and we’re are going to need infinite draw…infinite bandwidth and infinite storage space, and what’s going to make us successful is when people start dropping Mentos into Diet Cokes.” You know, that’s a company I would fund. I can tell you that right now. But I wanna paint a picture that just because someone tells you that you’ll fail doesn’t mean you’ll fail. On the other hand, just because someone tells you you’ll fail, also doesn’t mean you’ll succeed.
Nathan: So, how do you know what to trust?
Guy: You don’t. It’s that simple. And the way it works is, you take your best shot and if you’re successful, you say, “I knew this would work.” And if you’re not successful, you blame your investors.
Nathan: Interesting. What about…you know, I’m curious and I know you get this question all the time and I’m just curious, what’s the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned from Steve Jobs?
Guy: Probably the greatest lesson is that people cannot tell you what they need. All they can tell you is what they want, you know, “We want bigger, faster, cheaper of the same thing.” But when Apple had the Apple II, nobody came in and said, “Well, give us an incompatible machine that is more of a vertically oriented screen with a mouse, bitmap graphics, WYSIWYG printing, and display, with no software.” Because that’s what we built. And Steve Jobs’ genius was either he could predict what people would come to need or he could build what he wanted and convince people to need what he wanted to build. You could interpret his success either way, but that’s the lesson I learned from Steve. People can’t tell you what they want.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a really interesting one because I’ve heard you say before and I’ve always wondered, like in terms of customer feedback, then, how do you take it? Like, how do you…you know, the whole Lean Startup Feedback Loop, how do you interpret all of that feedback?
Guy: Well, it’s not necessarily a conflict. What I’m saying is, to create the next curve, to create the next jump, it’s your best guess, it’s your vision, it’s your dream, it’s your whatever, okay? But then, once you ship it, then you have to start listening to people. And that is a very hard shift to make. To go from saying, “No, we’re gonna build what we think you need” to then saying, “Okay, we shipped what we think you need, now tell us how to fix it.” That’s a very difficult transition to make.
Guy: I think they’re right. I think this concept of MVP which is the minimum viable product is absolutely right. I would add two more Vs to MVP. In my book, “The Art of the Start 2.0,” I call it “The MVVVP.” So, the other two Vs are, that it’s valuable and validating. So, you can ship something that’s viable, that can make a buck but is not necessarily valuable in the sense that it changes the world and it might also not validate your vision, your perception, your understanding of the world. So, a great first product is viable, valuable and it validates your thinking.
Nathan: So, not ship crap pretty much?
Guy: Well, you should not ship crap. But you can ship something that is an MVVVP, that has elements of crappiness to it. So, there’s a difference between shipping crap and shipping something that’s great but has flaws.
Nathan: And how do you know when it’s ready to ship?
Guy: Well, one good test is when you’re about to run out of money. You don’t. And I think companies probably ship too late than too early.
Nathan: Okay, interesting. And, I have to touch on something, you talked about investors a lot. Are you all about bootstrapping or you believe that funding capital’s the way to go to build a business to, I guess, disrupt a marketplace, make change in an innovative business?
Guy: Yeah, you know, I am more in the camp of bootstrap.Tried not to ever take venture capital if possible, or at least prolong it or postpone it as long as possible. And I think this is more possible in this world today, because of cloud computing, of crowdfunding, of social media marketing, of open source tools. So, all of these things means that companies are easier and cheaper to start than ever, so you don’t need as much money to start.
Nathan: And why shouldn’t you look for funding?
Guy: Because I think that too much money is worse than too little. That when you have too much money, all of a sudden, you believe that you have to create a great workplace environment where there’s a massage, free food, foosball tables, you need to have offsites in Thailand because there’s teambuilding and all that. And fundamentally, a startup, you only have to do two things. You need someone to make it and someone to sell it. And that’s it. And when you have too much money, all of a sudden, you have someone who has to make it, somebody has to sell it, somebody has to partner, somebody has to create a strategic direction and now you get all these people that are not necessary for the core function of a startup.
Nathan: That’s such a great point because I’ve always thought that to myself. Like where…not a venture backstop, bootstrap from the ground up. And I’ve always thought like, what would I do with this money? And funnily enough, one of my mentors, he came to me. He sold one of his companies for 8 million, like a portion of it. And he said,” Do you need money?” This and that. And I was like, “You know what? Probably not. Like right now, we don’t really need it.” And, I’ve always thought like if I did have that money, it would be such a different mindset because it’d be like, “I have to get this stuff to do this, have to have an amazing place,” and, yeah.
Guy: And then you need a chief people officer.
Nathan: That’s right
Guy: Then you need a chief culture officer. Oh my God.
Nathan: Yeah, okay, that’s a great point. So, what is the one thing that Guy Kawasaki does that others don’t, that has had the biggest effect on your success?
Guy: Well, I can’t say that I do anything that no one else does. But the biggest factor for my success is that I’m willing to grind it out. I’m willing to work hard. I can outwork most people. There are people who are smarter than me, there are people who can work harder than me, but there are very few people who are smarter and can work harder than me.
Nathan: So, when you talked about evangelism when you were doing it for Apple as opposed to Canva and you just had…you know, when you were doing it for Apple, you just had a cell phone and a plane ticket. What did your life look like? Was it just ridiculous, relentless hustle? Can you take us back to like, when you first started? Like, when you first walked into the office, this is what you’re going to do. So, tell us how it worked out?
Guy: So, back then, you know, we had a Macintosh prototype in a bag. And we had a stack of nondisclosure agreements. And we went to software companies and we said this, “If you sign this, we’re going to show you what’s in the bag.” It was hand-to-hand combat.
Nathan: And how’d you…what was the best way to convince people to sign a form?
Guy: To sign a form well, back then, it really was a secret project. And, we had a predicament because if too many people saw and understood and heard about the Macintosh, they might stop buying Apple IIs, right? And Apple II was paying the bills.
Guy: So, we had to get people to not talk about the Macintosh. Now, to sort of conflict with what I tell people now is, a company should never ask an investor to sign an NDA. Because most sophisticated investors will never sign an NDA because, at any given moment., they may be talking to five companies about the same thing. And so, if you’re a CEO and you say, “If you sign my NDA, I’ll tell you about my new product,” most people won’t sign it. In fact, I could make the case that the people who sign it are the people who’re too stupid, you don’t want their money. But it’s different when a hardware company does it because a hardware company, it’s not about someone’s going to steal the idea. It’s about cannibalizing the sale of existing products. So, you know?
Nathan: Yeah, no, I got you. Just one last question before we wrap up, three action items for entrepreneurs, aspiring and novice stage entrepreneurs.
Guy: It’s prototype, prototype, and prototype. It’s not about PowerPoint, Excel, or Word. It’s about prototyping.
Nathan: Awesome. All right. Well, look, thank you so much for your time, Guy. It was an absolute pleasure speaking with you.
Guy: Okay, thank you.
Nathan: Thank you.
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