10 questions: Guy Kawsaki: having been 'enchanted' by an early apply computer, Guy Kawasaki now helps others learn to have the same impact on co-workers and clients.

Author:Hales, Stuart
Position:SLA 2012 KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Interview

When the closing bell rang on the New York Stock Exchange on 10 August 2011, an unfamiliar name stood atop the list of the world's most valuable companies Apple. The tech company, known for its sleek consumer electronic and software products, briefly displaced energy giant Exxon Mobil thanks to strong sales, which topped $100 billion over the preceding 12 months.

Although Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was long the public face of the company, many others played a role in the firm's rise, especially in its early years. Among them was a former jeweler, Guy Kawasaki, whose college roommate, Mike Boich, was working for the Macintosh Division of Apple in the early 1980s. When Mike showed Guy a Macintosh computer in 1983, Guy was "enchanted" by what he saw and knew immediately he wanted to work for Apple. He later became Apple's software evangelist and, during a second stint at Apple in the 1990s, was the company's chief evangelist.

Since leaving Apple, Guy has helped found Alltop.com, an "online magazine rack" of popular topics on the Web, and Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital fund that provides financial backing for promising seed-stage and early-stage initiatives. He has also written 10 books, the latest of which, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, was published last year.

In July, Guy will be the keynote speaker at the opening session of the SLA 2012 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO. Information Outlook spoke to Guy about Enchantment and the lessons it holds for SLA members.


Q: Your latest book, Enchantment, was more than 25 years in the making--it sprang from the sensation you felt when you first saw a Macintosh computer in 1983. If you had never seen that computer, where do you think life would have taken you?

I was working for a jewelry manufacturer back then, but I don't think I would still be in the jewelry business. Maybe I'd be a barista at Starbucks. [Laughsl Ifs a big hypothetical--that was a huge fork in the road for me. It was one of those life-changing experiences.

Q: You joined Apple and eventually became their chief evangelist. Was that title created for you, and what did the job entail? I was the first chief evangelist at Apple, but that was during my second stint there, from 1995 to 1997. My first job at Apple was software evangelist, as opposed to chief evangelist. I was the second software evangelist; the first was a guy named Mike Boich.

The concept was pretty well...

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