Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and hosts his own podcast called Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People. He is also a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, an adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales, and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley).
He was the chief evangelist of Apple (1983-87) and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation (2015-16). He is also the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and twelve other books.
Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
In this interview, Guy Kawasaki gets candid about his life, offers some useful advice for budding entrepreneurs, and shares his views on Venture Capital for startups.
Let’s find out what he has to say!
A typical day for me involves surfing, answering email, posting to social media, and either recording or performing a live keynote address.
I also spend an hour or so cleaning the house and yard–this is a new side of me that became necessary because of the pandemic.
2. Which of your 14 books are must-reads for budding tech entrepreneurs?
The most important is The Art of the Start 2.0. In my opinion, that may be the only book a tech entrepreneur may need to read.
Entrepreneurship is about doing, not reading.
3. What is that one mistake you’d ask young professionals to avoid at all costs today?
There isn’t any single mistake they could make. Rather than list mistakes, my advice is more positive: pursue what interests you, try to get very good at it, and then hope you can make money doing it.
Note that the process starts with what interests you, not how much money you can make.
4. What should budding entrepreneurs watch out for when preparing to raise venture capital?
The most important thing is to remember that the purpose of a company is to create customers, not raise money. Venture capital, for most entrepreneurs, is an unlikely option.
The goal is to create a viable business (as opposed to a venture-capital fundable one) without venture capital.
5. What is that one unconventional profession you wish you could take up?
I wish I could be a wood-turner who transforms stumps of trees into vases.