Ten Questions with Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is remarkable author of 8 great books, successful b usinessman and venture capitalist, supremely outstanding blogger (revamping the rules) and an evangelist for marketing, speaking and almost anything tech. Add to this that he puts hockey before all of this (but after his thriving family of four) and you have a great guy who is outspoken and always interesting.

Recently he¹s done a few “10 Questions” posts, with Seth Godin and other notables, (and I just noticed another one today), so it’s past time to do a “10 Questions with Guy.” Particularly since he knows so much about communication. We sat down at lunch last week and…

1. Question: Very few are as busy as you with as many options of ‘things’ to do. How do you prioritize your many projects and interests?

  • Who says that I do prioritize what I do? I think I’m lousy at this. I’ve reach an age – 52 – where I just don’t care about what others think I should do. I just want to be remembered as a great family man and someone who empowered entrepreneurs to change the world.

2. Question: How do you leverage your time -­ any tips, techniques or things to watch so your time doesn¹t go down a black hole?

  • The greatest timesaving tip that I have is that people should use a Macintosh. Unfortunately, using a Macintosh opens up whole new worlds of capabilities, so you waste more time. Life is so complex.

3. Question: You have been a student of, and become outstanding at, public speaking – and communicating in all forms for that matter. What do you think is the most critical skill for someone who wants to influence people in face-to-face­ communicating?

  • Two things, really: first, have something worthwhile to say. It’s hard to be great at speaking if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say. Second, repetition. I’ve given some of my speeches hundreds of times. It takes this many times to make it look spontaneous. Very few people are willing to pay this price – and this is true of any kind of performance whether it’s public speaking, playing an instrument, singing, whatever.

4. Question: What¹s your greatest asset as a speaker?

  • I’m a quick study. I can adapt my speech to a specific audience very quickly. I often start prepping for a speech about thirty minutes before it starts. This short time frame makes it more challenging and exciting.

5. Question: What¹s your greatest flaw, or something you are always working at?

  • I wish I didn’t have a pidgin accent from my upbringing in Hawaii. I’d like to speak perfect Queen’s English.

6. Question: Since anyone reading this is either a blogger or reads them – what¹s the value of a blog?

  • This is seemingly a simple question, but it’s not. The simple answer is branding, exposure…the usual answers. The more complex, and deeply personal, answer is that blogging is cathartic, and it allows me to create.
  • There are only three activities in my life where I completely lose track of time: blogging, hockey, and I’ll let you guess the last one.

7. Question: What¹s your favorite blog?

  • Honestly, I read no other blogs on a regular basis. I depend on a cadre of readers and friends who point out specific postings to read. I try not to clutter my mind with information.

8. Question: Tech continues to change the way we communicate and act. What is one of the hottest new inventions/discoveries that you think will have the greatest impact?

  • I hate this sort of question, and I get them all the time. The truth is that I’m not a visionary. I’m an evangelist. When you show me the invention, I can tell you if it will sell fairly well, but I can’t invent it myself.
  • Generally speaking, I love the whole democratization of content thing that’s going on with blogs, audio, and video. It’s not clear how easy it will be to monetize all this stuff, but the trend is delightful.

9. Question: What¹s the future of video in how we communicate in either speeches and blog/internet use or for personal/entertainment use?

  • I like watching the shorts on YouTube and GoogleVideo as much as anyone.
  • These are just small bits of candy. Do I think that video will replace in-person speaking? Not at all though I’d love to never get on a plane.

10. Last of the 10 Questions for Guy: What occupies most of your mind these days writing, speaking, financing ventures, blogging, inventing, or…?

  • After my family, it’s blogging and then hockey. I guess the three things that generate no income are the most important to me. I may have to blog about the ramifications of this insight!

Stay tuned: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/

One comment on “Ten Questions with Guy Kawasaki

  1. Hi Bert- I would add something to Guy’s critical skills for influencing people – passion. It is almost impossible to be influential if you don’t care deeply about the topic. I enjoyed the interview. Keep up the good work.