Guy Kawasaki with SP Home Run President Jennifer RosslerMany know Guy Kawasaki as the author of a dozen or so business books – including some bestsellers – such as APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book, What the Plus! Google+ for the rest of us, and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

Fewer know the specifics of his two stints at Apple, including as chief evangelist, where Kawasaki got a front-row seat into the inner workings of technology legend Steve Jobs

Along the way, Guy Kawasaki also founded Alltop, an online magazine directory and served as an advisor to Google following its acquisition of the Motorola Mobility division. Currently Kawasaki is the chief evangelist for Canva – an online graphics design tool for non-designers.

For the HubSpot INBOUND 2014 conference, Kawasaki set the tone with his standing room only welcome reception keynote entitled “The Lessons of Steve Jobs.” Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from his talk:

  • Experts are clueless. Because the experts are very poor predictors of the future, some things need to be believed to be seen. At one point, Western Union predicted that the telephone would never be taken seriously. Digital Equipment Corporation once questioned why anyone would want a personal computer. You have to believe it first.
  • It is OK to change your mind. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
  • Use big graphics and big fonts. Kawasaki is famous for his top 10 list style presentations.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you. “A” players hire “A+” players.
  • Stay foolish and stay hungry.
  • Don’t fight on price. Fight on value. Value is not the same thing as price. No one ever bought anything from Apple because it had the cheapest price.
  • Differentiate yourself so you don’t have to fight on price all the time.
  • Make sure that your marketing provides both high uniqueness and high value. If you plan to change the world, this is the only way to do it.
  • Jump to the next curve to make the world a better place. Great innovation only occurs when you jump to the next curve. Don’t let the bozos grind you down.

As you might expect, Kawasaki recommended that everyone in the audience trade in their "big, ugly" Dell Windows-based laptop for a sleek Apple MacBook Air. As a Windows PC user since 1990 who spent the first 2-1/2 of years of his career in IT selling for IBM against Apple in higher education, I’m unlikely to ever be converted, but nonetheless found this lighthearted shtick from Kawasaki both predictable and amusing!

And perhaps the most touching tribute from Guy Kawasaki about his former boss:

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Steve (Jobs) is telling God what to do.”


Were you in the audience at INBOUND 2014? What tips and lessons from Guy Kawasaki about Steve Jobs did you find most impactful? Let us know your take in the Comments below.


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