“My stories do not depict epic, tragic, or heroic occurrences, because that hasn’t been the trajectory of my life. They do not depict a rapid meteoric rise, either. One decision. One failure. Hard work. One success. My goal is to educate, not awe, you.”
Guy Kawasaki has been a fixture in the tech world since he was part of Apple’s original Macintosh team in the 1980s. He’s widely respected as a source of wisdom about entrepreneurship, venture capital, marketing and business evangelism, which he’s shared in bestselling books such as the art of the start and enchantment. But before all that, he was just a middle-class kid in Hawaii, a grandson of Japanese immigrants, who loved football and got a C+ in 9th grade English. Wise guy, his most personal book, is about his surprising journey.
Here are some lessons from his book!
You should never underestimate the difference one person can make to your life. They can change the entire course of your future.
“Akau’s advice changed the trajectory of my life. If she would have not convinced my parents to send me to ‘Iolani, I would not have gone to Stanford. If I had not gone to Stanford, I would not have met the guy who got me interested in computers and gave me a job at Apple.”
Your life is a sum of all your decisions. It is up to you to trust your own instincts and actions. A person’s happiness is in their own hands.
“You must believe that you control your own fate. No one else is responsible for your success or failure. Her insights had a profound effect on who I believed was responsible for my happiness – that is me.”
What matters is how you sell the commodities that you have. And the person who masters the art of selling wins the game.
“Working for Nova was one of the best decisions I ever made because of the CEO of the company, Marty Gruber, taught me one of the most valuable skills I ever learned : how to sell. Jewellery is made of commodities – expensive commodities, but commodities nonetheless. As such, the ability to sell is crucial to success in that line of work.”
Every great innovation does not require rocket science. Sometimes simple ideas turn out to be the greatest innovations.
“The truth probably is that Bill Gates wanted to get IBM’s business for the IBM PC, and he wasn’t looking beyond that. And Steve and Woz wanted to sell some Apple Is to the Homebrew Computer Club. The long-term plan was “until we run out of money and have to get a real job.”
Every word can cost a person their career
” In front of everyone, Jobs told Clow not to give me a copy. I don’t know what got into my brain, but I said “Why, Steve, don’t you trust me?” and Steve responded, “No, I don’t.”
And I countered, “That’s okay Steve, I don’t trust you either.” That response may have cost me tens of millions of dollars, because I clearly burned a bridge for working at Apple when jobs returned.”
Honesty is the best policy
“’What do you think of a company called Knoware?’
I told Jobs that the company’s products were mediocre and that the company was not strategic for us. After all, they didn’t take advantage of the Mac graphical user interface and other advanced features.
After my diatribe, Jobs said to me, “I want you to meet the CEO of Knoware, Archie McGill.” I shook his hand, and Steve said to him, ‘See? That’s what I told you.’”
Guy Kawasaki covers everything from moral values to business skills to parenting. As he writes, “I hope my stories help you live a more joyous, productive, and meaningful life. If Wise Guy succeeds at this, then that’s the best story of all.”