Highly recognized Silicon Valley venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki is not only the author of the inspiringly titled blog How to Change the World, but he has also penned nine books on various business and marketing topics. After attending college at Stanford and receiving his MBA from UCLA, Kawasaki cut his business teeth at a jewelry manufacturer called Nova before eventually being bitten by the “computer bug.”
After a brief stint at an educational software company, Kawasaki was hired by Apple where he was responsible for marketing the original Macintosh computer in 1984. After the success seen at Apple in the mid-80s, Kawasaki left and started his own software and database development companies, Fog City Software and ACIUS.
Following a short return to Apple in 1995 “to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult,” Kawasaki started Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage seed fund, with Craig Johnson and Rich Karlgaard in 1997. Today, Kawaski is the Managing Director at Garage, and the co-founder of Alltop, which he describes as “an online magazine rack”.
Of Kawasaki’s nine books, perhaps the most lauded has been 2004’s The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, which is an essential read for any entrepreneur. Kawasaki fills the chapters of his startup handbook with GIST, or Great Ideas for Starting Things, as well as tips on marketing, branding, customer development, pitching, recruiting and any of a number of valuable lessons.
More recently, Kawasaki published Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition, a book focused on a similar vein as 1996’s How to Drive Your Competition Crazy: Creating Disruption for Fun and Profit. The book’s description says its time for a reality check “if the two most popular words in your company are partner and strategic, and partner has become a verb, and strategic is used to describe decisions and activities that don’t make sense.”
Kawasaki has tuned his storied marketing history into a successful venture capital and writing career. These books and others, including Rules for Revolutionaries and The Macintosh Way, have provided excellent resources for entrepreneurs and startups, and are must-reads for anyone starting any kind of business.