Be the next tech rockstar


Every technopreneur wants to be the next Steve Jobs. Every startup dreams of becoming the next Google. And there’s one guy who knows how you can achieve both. You don’t need to stay a startup forever.

Guy Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist at Apple and consultant at Google’s Motorola unit. He visited Manila for the first time late last year as the chief evangelist of Canva and to give the keynote address at Globe’s Enterprise Innovation Forum. We learned a lot from this prolific evangelist and book author. He is known for sharing his art of innovation, but we chose to mix and match noteworthy tips during his visit. After all, he did poop like an elephant: When asked to comment on the statement that stealing intellectual property rights is one thing that deters innovation people to bring out innovation, Kawasaki said, “Bullshit.” Read more wise words below.

  1. Don’t let the bozos bring you down. Just who are these bozos? People who are experts about existing products, not the future. People who tell you no. People who say your ideas cannot be done. Don’t listen to them regardless of their successes. It doesn’t matter how powerful or rich they are or how high up the ladder they’ve reached. Leave them behind and get on to the next curve without them.
  2. When you think you’re invulnerable, it’s time to get to the next curve. Someone from the crowd of professionals and entrepreneurs asked Kawasaki how to know when to move on to the next curve. And his answer is his own take on “don’t get too comfortable.” Your comfort zone is your death zone. Move on when you no longer feel challenged.
    Speed How-To Guy Kawasaki
    The author with Guy Kawasaki (photo courtesy of Marlon Magtira)
  3. It’s better to ship early than to ship late. When should you jump on a budding trend? Don’t wait for other people’s cue. Kawasaki is not a believer of “better late than never.” Between jumping the gun too early and jumping on the tail-end of a tried and tested curve, you know what revolutionary entrepreneurs would choose.
  4. When innovating, make your prototype and get to market ASAP. Why wait? Go make your product and launch it. For Kawasaki, selling is the solution to climbing out of the startup rut. You gotta make it and you gotta sell it.
  5. Reduce all barriers to adoption. The status quo will make it difficult for you to kill it. Fight back by making it easy for your customers to experience your product or service. Don’t let them fill out endless forms or jump hoops before they can try out your innovation. Clear the road for them and they will come.
  6. Never ask people to do something that you wouldn’t. There’s a huge difference between leading and simply bossing around.
  7. Change the world. When you set out to make money instead of value, you won’t be successful. Your mission in innovating should be to change the world, then you will make money along the way.
  8. Educate future engineers. How better to invest in the future than educating our youth. And what do we need? Not businessmen or lawyers. Kawasaki believes that the future of technological innovation lies in the hands of engineers, so let’s produce more of them.
  9. Hire people better than you. Kawasaki has this theory about A people hiring B people: it is the path toward mediocrity. If you go down this road, your company will be filled with Z people in no time. If you’re an A person, hire A+ people, and keep improving on the status quo.
  10. Eat like a bird; poop like an elephant. Birds eat a lot. And that’s what Kawasaki suggests you do: eat a lot of information. Then what do you do after consuming loads of knowledge? Poop them out. Share your knowledge. Educate. Innovate. Evangelize.
Words Aritha Zel Zalamea First published in Speed January 2015 issue