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[Editor’s note: This post and podcast originally produced for Eastwick Communications here…]


Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki, San Francisco Chronicle photo by Kim Komenich 3/2/06

With a guy like Guy, where do you start?


Throughout the highs and lows (has he had ‘lows’?) of his career, his winning personality has endured. Positive, yet candid and – dare I say – ballsy, Guy Kawasaki is a survivor and a true Silicon Valley original

We are thrilled for him to join us on our Break through the Noise podcast. As an influencer himself, his perspective is truly unique and we can’t wait to see what he has to say next.

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More about Guy in his own words:

“Official” Bio

Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine 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 has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

My “Real Story”

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was, at various times, a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official.

I attended Iolani School where I graduated in 1972. Iolani is not as well known as its rival, Punahou, but I got a fantastic and formative education there. After Iolani, I matriculated to Stanford University where I graduated in 1976. My major was psychology – which was the easiest major I could find.

After Stanford, I attended the law school at UC Davis because, like all Asian American parents, my folks wanted me to be a “doctor, lawyer, or dentist.” I only lasted one week because I couldn’t deal with the law school teachers telling me that I was crap and that they were going to remake me.

The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell. The jewelry business is the toughest business I’ve encountered.

I remained at Nova for a few years until the computer bug bit me. The Apple II removed the scales from my eyes, so I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so.” I can’t live in a city where people call sushi “bait.”

Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple. When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years I evangelized Macintosh to software and hardware developers and led the charge against world-wide domination by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple during this timeframe – Apple has been very good to me.

Around 1987, my job with Apple was done. Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. I did this for two years and then left to pursue my bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting.

Later, I started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best people in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. We created an email product called Emailer that we sold to Claris and then a list server product called LetterRip.

In 1995 I returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die again (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits). My job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.

A couple years later, I left Apple to start Garage with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 1.0 of Garage was to provide matchmaking services for angel investors and entrepreneurs. We upgraded to version 2.0 which was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 is focused on being a venture capital firm and making direct investments in early-stage technology companies.

Currently, I’m a founding partner at Garage and co-founder of Alltop as well as a husband, father, author, speaker, and hockey addict. Alltop is an online magazine rack that I hope you’ll check out – you’ll probably enjoy Innovation.alltop, for example. I’ve also written nine books. My latest is Reality Check. You can read about my other eight books here.

[cross-posted here…]