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Smart Man Online: Guy Kawasaki

Yvonne with logoToday, Yvonne interviews a well-known gentleman who has, so we read, the "midas touch." But, it's not what you think, dear readers. Guy Kawasaki , the Smart Man Online for today, is a world traveler who uses his sharp mind and keen insight to help golden companies shine brighter in their world. We met Guy through another blogger friend and found him to be approachable, friendly, and the kind of 'celebrity' who is very much like us-- devoted to his family and supportive of his friends. Read on to discover more about this (extra)-ordinary guy...

Yvonne: Your website touts you as having "the golden touch." Hmmm...we've heard about the Midas Touch. It didn't work out so well for King Midas. How is your golden touch different, Guy?


Guy: My golden touch is very different from King Midas's. Everything he touched, turned to gold. I try to only touch things that are already gold. The point is that it's much easier to evangelize products or services that are gold/good. Evangelizing crap is too hard.


Yvonne: One thing we really like about your homepage is your picture. It's refreshing, welcoming, and inviting. In this day and age, some folks are reluctant to put their picture on their website-- the whole privacy issue and what if someone steals your identity-- but it's clear you are not among that group. We'd like to know who chose that picture, you or your publicist?


Guy: I chose the picture. It was shot in Cambridge, UK a few years ago at a conference. Some say that I am looking skyward for divine inspiration about what to invest in.


Yvonne: One thing we found disappointing about your website was the 'event' page...without a calendar of events-- just a link to your latest conference and an invitation to buy your book. We think a calendar and some additional information would be helpful. Come to think of it...a blog, with announcements, would be fabulous. What say you?


Guy: It's true. I don't list every event that I speak at for two reasons: first, many events are closed affairs. The public cannot attend them because they are put on by companies. Second, I'm a little leery of letting the whole world know when I'm out of town. Maybe I should take down that page completely.


Yvonne: (We defer that decision to you and your webmaster, but our advice is to replace it with information about the most recent conference you are preparing for, even if it's not open to the public.) Let's talk about your book,The Art of the Start...we found it to be among the Top 5 great business books of 2004. You have a winning style of writing. Our feeling is that you're smart, personable, approachable, and always there for the little guy. Is this how you see yourself? Did we get the right message from your book? (hey, update... go check out The Art of the Start 2.0 )


Guy: This is how I try to live though I am sure you can find people who do not agree. At a certain, late point in one's life, two things occur: you don't take yourself too seriously and you stop caring what people think of you and just let it rip.


Not caring what others think can turn you into an arrogant orifice or set you free because you don't care what the arrogant orifices think of you. I'm striving for the latter.


Yvonne: That's a new phrase we're going to have to get used to: arrogant orifice. I like it! Going back to the book, you say it isn't merely for new businesses. It's really for starting just about anything. We couldn't agree more. Since this is the start of a New Year, and folks are probably already breaking their New Year's resolutions...can you give us some advice on how to keep focused?


Guy: One thing that keeps one focused is running out of money, but let's hope this isn't what's driving your readers. At 48 years old, I took up ice hockey, having never skated before in my life. It's taught me a lot about focus. I learned is that there's nothing that will magically make me a good hockey player. All I can do is get a little better every day. That focuses me.


An entrepreneur should also strive to make his or her company a little better every day. One day you'll wake up, and you'll be "good."


Yvonne: Practice makes perfect, and that old adage, just do it. We couldn't agree more. You talk about "intrapreneurship," as opposed to entrepreneurship, in your book. Explain this to our readers.


Guy: Intrapreneurship is when you're trying to foster entrepreneurship inside of a big organization. It may be the hardest form of entrepreneurship there is because so much of the operation and philosophy of a big organization is contrary to starting something.


Yvonne: You say on your website that you like to speak to people who "want to change the world" --- we know that includes us and many of our readers ---  think learning to blog is one area that will show a huge impact in 2005 by giving a 'voice' to every individual. How do you feel about that? Hmmm...where is your blog? (are we being redundant? yes, and for good reason -- the world wants more of Guy Kawasaki!)


Guy: Very interesting question. I've never done a blog for two reasons. First, the thought that I have something worthwhile to say everyday is beyond even my ego.


On an everyday basis, nothing that exciting happens in my life. I could pretend that what I do, see, think is so important that the world cares about it, but that is too self-indulgent for me.


Second, the world can't have more of me. I have three startups (kids) and a wife. When you come down to it, they are all I really care about. The pressure to answer 50-75 emails per day plus blog detracts from this priority, and I just won't let that happen.


You may find this astounding, but I am basically introverted. I'd love to just be with my family. I don't need the limelight and attention to be happy--they are, frankly, a means to an end. I put everything I can into my books and speeches. That's where people can get all I am willing to give. 


Yvonne: We are here to help you with your blog, when you are ready, Guy.


Now, on to shopping online...Lip-sticking exists to promote and enable good online shopping experiences, and to help small business owners understand the women's market. Women love the convenience, and the free shipping. (Just last night on the show West Wing, CJ, the President's Chief of staff this season, after some bloggers accused her of being gay, said out loud, "I only use the Internet to shop." Way cool!)  


Are you an online shopper? In other words, REAL online shoppers buy more than just books online. So, do you shop online? Or, do you leave that to the woman in your life? (be that a wife, a sister, a mother, an assistant, or a robot. :-)


Guy: I love to shop--online, offline, digital, analog, you name it. I am a woman trapped in a man's body in that sense. I am a voracious online shopper: Amazon, Cameraworld, Hockey Giant, Apple, Fandango, you name it. If there had been more people like me, the bubble would have never burst.


Yvonne: Can you give us a hint on what your next book will be about? When should we begin looking for it?


Guy: My next book will be about $26, and it will come out one year after I can get a big Guy2 advance from my publisher. Franker words have never been written by an author!


Yvonne: Lastly, we see that you travel a great deal. Where did you have the most fun in 2004, whether for business or pleasure?


Guy: In 2004 I traveled all over the world and stayed in places that many people fantasize about visiting, but, without question, the most fun I had was two miles from my house at the ice rink. That's where I play hockey with my sons, skate with my daughter (she's only three but will start hockey soon), and slash, trip, and high stick my friends.


There was a lot to learn here, dear readers! We have a new definition of the 'midas touch' and we learned what an "arrogant orifice" is.

Time has gone by and this interview is ever-green. If you're interested in what we at Lipsticking are up to today, hop over to The Lipsticking Society and join our community! We amplify women's voices, across the web and the world.


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