So what happens when the international business mogul and “brand evangelist” pioneer Guy Kawasaki sits down with Dave Pasqualone for the 2019 Remarkable People Podcast Christmas special? Guy tells us about the valuable life lessons he’s experienced, balancing work and family, business tips that help him succeed, his greatest weaknesses, surfing, Steve Jobs, wife 1.0, unicorns, adoption, and more! Learn how Guy Kawasaki thinks, the philosophies he lives by to achieve success, and how you can too! Check it out first on The Remarkable People Podcast Episode 8: The Guy Kawasaki story!
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley). He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
“It’s better to be lucky, than smart!” – Guy Kawasaki
BOOKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED:
CONNECT WITH GUY:
CONNECT WITH DAVE:
- Pam Heinold, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Pensacola, Florida
- Bethany Christian Services, Adoption and Pregnancy Resources
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EPISODE CORE THEME(S), KEYWORDS AND TAGS:
- Life lessons and motto’s Guy lives by
- adoption, nepotism, the walking dead, plan b, law of the lid, the big break, the rising tide, scalability, balancing work and family, wife 1.0, when to quit, hard work, better to be lucky than smart
- Guy Kawasaki, Steve Jobs, Apple, Canva, John Maxwell, Ted Waitt, Pam Heinold Better Homes and Gardens Realty, Bethany Christian Services, Beth Kawasaki, Angela Merkel, Mercedes Benz, Jane Goodall, Daniel Cormier, ESPN, Kodak, Jiu-Jitsu
THE NOT-SO-FINE-PRINT DISCLAIMER:
While we are very thankful and appreciative for all of our guests, please understand that we do not agree with all of their views and positions. We are thankful to live in a country that protects our freedoms and allows us to practice the constitutional right of free speech, and the universal gift of God’s free will. That’s it. Now enjoy another episode! 🙂
Read the Full Transcript
The Remarkable People Podcast with host David Pasqualone Season 1 Episode 8 Christmas Special with Guy Kawasaki
[00:00:00] David Pasqualone: [00:00:00] Hello friends. This is Dave Pasqualone with The Remarkable People Podcast. Season 1, Episode 8, the Christmas special with our very special guest. The remarkable, the enchanting, the wise, Guy Kawasaki!
Intro / Outro Reel: [00:00:17] The Remarkable People Podcast. Check it out. The Remarkable People Podcast. Listen, do repeat for life.
David Pasqualone: [00:00:39] Thanks for being here today, Guy.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:00:41] Thank you. Thank you. What a great name for a podcast.
David Pasqualone: [00:00:44] I know, right? Have you ever heard that before?
Guy Kawasaki: [00:00:49] I should. I should be inspired by it.
David Pasqualone: [00:00:53] I know, right? Great minds think alike. We’ll get into that in just a second. I want you to be able to tell the story we’ll take to you.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:01:00] That’s a great story.
David Pasqualone: [00:01:01] All right, so for our listeners. Some of you are very familiar with Guy Kawasaki, and some of you have not heard of Guy, not because he’s not internationally famous. just not in your world. So as a quick summary, we’re going to derail from the normal format of the show and we’re going to go ahead and.
Kind of abbreviate instead of doing the past, the present and the future. We’re going to breeze through the past. Cause guy Kawasaki has a huge body of work as you’re about to hear. Um, he has countless interview books, tons of literature you can read and watch on his background. But this is a man who was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, went to Stanford and UCLA got to start as a jeweler where he acclaims all his skills from sales came from, went to work for a software company through great nepotism.
Got a job in Apple. Where he earned his keep. And then the rest is history. Uh, 15 books, textbooks for prestigious academic institutions. Uh, he’s a best seller in the wall street journal and New York times. He’s a sought after public speaker who, I’m not sure how he does this, but he speaks over 50 times per year.
He has online training courses, blog articles, countless interviews. Tired already. I know, right? Listen that I’m getting tired. I just want people to know who you are, and he has a fantastic new podcast called guy Kawasaki’s. Remarkable people. And most of all, what I am impressed is he’s a sincerely great human.
He’s been married for over 30 years. He’s got two sons, natural, a daughter and a son that were adopted all for his kids. And he is a great leader and I consider him a friend. So guy, welcome to the show.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:02:55] Thank you. Thank you very much for that introduction to it. Like I didn’t know I did all that.
David Pasqualone: [00:03:01] Yeah, you did. I swear I stalked you. so I’m going to give a quick start. Then you take over the story and then I’ll give it my side again. Uh, so basically for a few years, I’m thinking about starting a podcast this year. I got serious about it, started moving forward and launch back in August, and then all of a sudden I’m sitting down at my computer working away.
And I get this email, which I thought was fake at first, and I’m like, seriously, take over from there, guy.
Guy Kawasaki: [00:03:38] Okay, so to go back, you know, for the whole story, my latest book is called wiseguy in which I tell stories about my life. You know, the wisdom that I learned over the course of my life. So as the author of wiseguy, I was interviewed many, many times.
My podcast is, so I got to talking to some of them about, you know, how many subscribers, how often they do it, how they sell ads, how much they make for the ads, and all that. And my God, it’s a lucrative business. I thought, geez, you know, why am I writing? I should podcast too. So then the most logical name from my podcast would be something like, why is this guy?
But then I didn’t want it to be about me per se. So I thought, okay, so I’ll call it. You know, wisdom of remarkable people. Because, uh, many, many years ago I wrote a book on hindsight’s, the wisdom of remarkable people. And I thought, Oh, wisdom. Remarkable people that works. And so I tested it with a lot of friends.
And then of all people, one of my friends who’s a lawyer said, well, why do you have wisdom of, why don’t you just say remarkable people? And I said, you know, you’re right. That is a much better name, remarkable people. Two words. It explains what it is right. So I was so happy with that name. I [00:05:00] never really searched Apple podcasts or any place else.
I just said it has a great, now I’ll just name it remarkable people, and then. And then one day I was sitting with someone as they were trying to subscribe and they type in remarkable people, and up comes yours. And I said, Oh my God, I never thought of that. Maybe I should search for the name. And it was, you know, the remarkable people podcast.
And I thought, okay, so. You know, I’ll call it guy Kawasaki’s remarkable people. And then I did some research and I figured out, you know, you really can’t trademark a book name or a podcast. You can have identical names. And you know, that’s just the way it is in the law. I don’t know why. So, you know, if you ever doubt me, go on Amazon, type in the word love, and you’ll see how many books are named love.
Anyway, so, so now I have this problem. Okay? So I didn’t copy you because I didn’t know you existed. So. So I’m thinking, okay, so I’ll call a guy called SOC is remarkable people. I asked my friends, I said, Hey man, that’s different enough. They’re not going to do anything. And all of us, it’s still, you know, I don’t want to look cheesy, even though I wasn’t cheesy.
So the high road is, why don’t I contact him? And he may say, you know, I’m going to take you to Supreme court. Or he may say, I don’t care. And in the meantime I’m thinking, well, people are going to go search for my. Podcasts using the word remarkable people, and they’re going to find both of us. So maybe he’ll get more subscribers because of that confusion.
So yeah, typically someone doesn’t copy someone in order to help the other person, you know what I mean? So, fair enough. Fair enough. You have three and a half million LinkedIn subscribers. I have 3000 the first 3000 are the hardest. Anyway, so, so then I thought, okay, let’s just take the high road, and then, you know.
Obviously we kind of got along and I said, you know, I want to take the high road. I mean, if you’re going to get really upset, I don’t really know if you can do anything about it, but I just want to open up the conversation because you know, this is how a war start, right? Someone assume something about somebody else and blah, blah, blah.
And so you came back with a perfectly reasonable response. And then so I thought, okay, he’s a reasonable, I’ll be reasonable. And like, let’s just live happily ever after that. I said, well, why don’t I appear on your podcast? Yeah, absolutely. And I’m very thankful. I mean, Hey, every, we always say there are no accidents, I guess.
Yeah. So this worked out. The honest truth is, I feel exactly like I did. How we express that is he’s a great human, and I’m not saying this because he’s famous or he’s on my show. I mean it just with the few interactions we’ve had, I’ve learned so much from him. He’s an ethical man, he’s a doer. He has a why.
Why wait attitude, let’s do this. The sooner the better, you know, why decide for three weeks? I’ll attack now. He cares about his reputation. He cares about helping others succeed. He sent me information on podcasting and equipment to use. Which hasn’t come in yet, but the next episode we’ll have, what did you order?
I ordered the Mike, so that’s coming in and some of the other equipment, so thank you very much. Hopefully we’ll get rid of this nasty echo. So you as the listener, thank you for your bearing. But, um, I really appreciate your friendship. And the first time I ever heard of you was in 2013 and he spoke for express employment professionals at that time.
And my good friend Charlie buck with owns the local agency. Great guy and he’s like, Dave, why don’t you come down and listen? And I’m like, who’s got Kawasaki back then? I didn’t know who you are. So I heard four or five speakers that day and hands down, you are the best. I mean, you gave me practical advice.
You put things we can apply. You’re funny. I still remember you talking about Apple and how you get lost with the maps, your sons, how they wouldn’t send you pictures of your, a LG washer and dryer. I remember a lot from that day. And um, when it ends, I’m not a, let’s go up and get an autograph guy, but I was with people, they wanted to see you.
So we’re like, all right, let’s go. So we stand in line, we get these books and you’re signing them. And now it was just me. And this girl who was left, nobody else wanted to continue in the line cause it was so huge to me. G well, I thought we’re going to pull a litmus test here because this girl I was with is a sweetest girl in the world, but she was smoking hot.
And I was like, I want to see if guy Kawasaki’s the real deal, or like Clinton and just going to give her a wink and forget about me. And sure enough, you’re a perfect gentlemen. Talk to her, me, everybody else. Exactly the same sign up books. And I asked you the question that day that we’re going to end this episode with.
I said, who would you stand in line to meet. So that may be thinking about that and your subconscious. Alright, I’m [00:10:00] glad I passed your test. I didn’t even know I was in a test. Yeah, man, I wouldn’t have brought it up if you fail. but tell your wife she can listen to this episode two thumbs up. Thank God. All right, so actually, let’s start there.
Um, most people. It’s life scalable. It’s whether you build a shed, a house, or a mansion. It’s the same foundational principles just at a different scale. We work maybe in a middle class, you work at the elite level, but we all have families in life to balance. How are you traveling the world, have children or wife and keep a balance.
You’ve been married 30 plus years, right? Yeah, I’m on wife 1.0 still. That is awesome. And I had an applause button I’d be pushing right now. So how do you balance family and career? First of all, you’re assuming that I do. Well, that’s true. You’re still smiling. You’re still married. I’m not seeing divorce headlines.
No. Nope. So, uh. Well, first of all, life for children are just the center of my universe. And so, uh, a couple, you know, pragmatic things. First of all, when I travel, it’s very typical for me to fly out the last flight of the day though. Not necessarily red eye, cause red eyes too iffy. So I fly out the last flight of the day, I get to the city, you know, 10, 11 o’clock, I sleep, I wake up, I speak, and I leave on the first possible flight.
So sometimes I’m gone for less than 24 hours, even though I went across the country. Uh, I’ve done things like, I’ve spoken in Russia and I was in Russia for eight hours, so I could get back fast enough. Um, so that, that’s one second when I’m in town. I am not going to an office. I don’t have an, you know, a regular 60 hour a week day job to go through.
And then I go and travel. So I’m home and when I’m all my, you know, drop them off, pick them up, do whatever, uh. No, I can’t tell you when I’m at home that I’m like, you know, playing board games and cooking meals for them, but I am in the house. Um, and you know, I have an amazing wife, so I think that behind every successful man is an amazing woman.
Um, so I have an amazing woman behind me and, uh, yeah, that’s all it takes. That’s all it takes. Now how long have you buried again? Uh, since 86. Wow. Yeah. Very good. Congratulations. Thank you. All right. Well, tell me a little bit about your kids. You have four kids. Yeah. Four kids. Two are out of college. One is going to enter college next year, and another one’s going to enter high school next year.
So, uh, yeah. We’re all surfers. That matters. And uh, yeah, we have a great time together. One of my PR, not one of my, my greatest pleasure in life is to be surfing with my children. By far, nothing even close. No car, no house, no, you know, VIP, whatever. Nothing. No sporting event that I, you know, as a spectator, nothing.
Nothing comes close. That’s so good. And then you have the two in high school and the two that are in college or hadn’t seen them all. They’re all out of colors. Yeah. The two are out of college. One is. Almost out of high school and one is almost out of intermediate school. Nice. Very nice. When you’re working and you have the balance of, you are evangelists for Canver and Mercedes and all of these other companies.
What role are you actively playing today with those companies? Because I mean, Canva itself is a unicorn. That’s just amazing. So how much time are you investing in those companies? And then we’re going to get to the future of the podcast and what you have going on. So, uh, Canva is doing extremely well. In the month of October, Canva made 139 million images, so that’s like four or 5 million images per day.
Now, uh, I have the concept called guys golden touch and guys go, then touch is not, whatever I touch turns to gold guys, golden touches. Whatever’s gold guy touches. And so believe me, I’m going to declare victory. We can vote. Uh, but really the success of Canva is because of the people in the Philippines and Sydney and China.
Um, they just work so hard. They just relentlessly pursue perfection. So I’m the evangelist for the company, which means totally outward focused. You know, wherever I speak, I, I, I promote Canva. Um, now when you make a keynote speech, you know, people are not paying you to come and promote your own company.
They’re coming in for content, but I always slip a little promotion in there at the end. [00:15:00] And so it’s that, and it’s being visible. Uh, Mercedes-Benz, I’m one of the few people in the world who get paid to drive a Mercedes, even though I’m not a formula one driver. And this podcasting thing, I’ve only had two episodes, so I’ve only been doing it for a couple months.
And, uh, the first episode was Jane Goodall. Second episode was Phil Zimbardo Stanford professor. Third episode will be Stephen Wolf from a physicist. The fourth episode will be Margaret Atwood, the author of the Handmaid’s tale. So, yeah, that’s the kind of, that’s the kind of people that I’ve been fortunate enough to get so far.
Okay. Let’s talk about that. The cover of your podcast. It’s a really great picture. Talk about the significance of it. Somehow, just by the grace of God, I’ve become friends with Jane Goodall, and so I have interviewed her on stage and when she was in San Francisco a couple months ago, I interviewed her at the event.
And for the listeners, describe who Jane Goodall. Jane Jane Goodall is the person who lived in Africa, befriended the chimpanzees, figured out the chimpanzees. Have personalities. They use tools. Uh, national geographic has done specials off at her. I mean, yeah, if you’re into anything about ecology or biology, you know Jane Goodall.
Exactly. And the cover is her. And I don’t want to say it’s wrong, but it looks like she’s touching your head like a monkey picking up fleas. Yeah. She’s looking for lice in my hair, just like chimpanzees groom each other, so it’s great. Yeah. So that’s, I figured for my first episode, who could be more remarkable than Jean Goodall.
All right. Seriously. Right. So she’s definitely a remarkable woman, that’s for sure. Oh, yeah. So now, why a podcast? We’re kind of jumping ahead. There’s no script to this podcast. So why, why a podcast for you? I know you mentioned it’s an awesome opportunity. Why write books when you can talk to your friends, but, um, what is your heart like?
Where do you want to see this going? If we do a followup interview in a year, what would just be like, tickle you? I want to be the male Japanese. Terry Gross and no Japanese tearing her up. How’s that? That sounds, everybody needs goals. That’s my goal. That’s your goals. She would never let me on her show.
I’m going to be her. All right, and how many listens in ERs and subscribe or is that going to take for your goal? I have no idea. I’ll let you know if I get there, you’ll get there. I will do it. I literally am the probably millions. Millions. Well, you’ll get there. Yeah. I don’t know quite the phone. So I personally believe, and you correct me if I’m wrong, but all men are equal.
I think we all have different skillsets, different abilities, uh, different life situations. You can take two great people who are absolutely equal and they have two absolutely different lives because the circumstances around them, that’s what I believe. Do you believe that as well? The difference between me and some homeless guy is not that much man.
And a lot of it is. Being in the right place at the right time. Your parents probably are 90% of it. Uh, I also believe that, you know, you know how some people, you can tell that they just feel superior to everybody. Yes. You know, they feel superior to the waiter or the waitress, or the elementary school teacher or the, you know, the high school coach or, uh, the flight attendant.
You know, you just catch that attitude that they think that somehow they’re above it all. But my observation is that you can learn something from everybody. Everybody does something better than you. Now, it may not be, you know, shooting a basketball, but it may be. How to make a a better castle role are, could be how to make a better free throw.
Or it could be, you know, somebody who you’d say, Oh, the, you know, they, they’re doing manual labor. Well, that person is the world’s greatest longboard surfer. I mean, you just never know. Everybody can teach you. So I agree completely. Well for you, I think a lot of people are disillusioned because I’m, again.
I believe in God and I am accountable for everything I say, and I’m not saying this to give you a fat head, but I really think you’re a great guy, and all the interactions we’ve had have been stellar, but. I don’t see you as different than other successful people or quote unquote average people in a lot of ways.
And I think there’s a misperception that when people are looking up, they think, Oh, this guy must read 10,000 books a [00:20:00] year. He never watches TV. He’s always in business meetings, working 80 hours a week. So what’s the truth? What’s your habit? What does your life look like? And I know surfing’s involved, I hate to burst your bubble, basically.
I’m 65 years old and you know, I take a break from surfing to work as opposed to take a break from work to surf. And so, you know, I’m just not a high maintenance kind of guy. I just. Like, you know, I get up in the mornings, sometimes I make my kid breakfast, sometimes it dough, and then I take them to school.
And then I go to a coffee shop and I order a one cup of coffee and avocado toast. And I answer email and do social media and podcasting for three hours. And then I go eat again cause I get hungry all the time. And then I go back and I answer emails and do podcasting for another three hours. And then I.
You know? Then I go home and we eat or something like that, and then I do another three hours email and podcasting. Um, I don’t, you know, I don’t. From the outside looking in, you wouldn’t say, Oh my God, you know, that’s like another Elon Musk or Steve jobs. I’m not, I’m not in their class. I, but you know, I know I’m not in her class, but I could teach them something too.
So absolutely. We all can, just like you said earlier, and I mean. I have never met Steve jobs, and I know he’s passed away, but from what I’ve read from his own writings, he’s not somebody I’d want to hang out with where you are and be careful what you ask for. But, um, you know, I, I have to say, you know, all the stories you hear, you read, you see all that stuff.
It’s kind of true about Steve. He was a tough guy. Tough to get along with, extremely demanding, et cetera, et cetera. But you know what, he could back it up. I mean, there are a lot of people who are just plain old jerks and you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time with them and all. And they, you know, they have this like very lofty self image, but they don’t have the part about being the visionary and, you know, predicting and inventing the future.
So, I mean, in a perfect world, I guess, you know, Steve jobs would have been a hell of a nice guy too, but I don’t know which came first, you know? So is it because you’re so focused. Did you appear to be, you know, a polite or impolite or, you know, whatever, callous or whatever. So because of that focus, you became great, or were you great and because you’re great people put up with the stuff you do.
I don’t know which comes first. And that’s one of my next questions was, do you believe that most remarkable people are misunderstood, like the truly elite and great? They seem like there’s just different, well, we, they March. You know, I guess it depends really on each person. So, you know, let’s say if you took a, you hear these stories about musicians or S or athletes, athletes, you know, and stuff, and, and they have these demands that, you know, they have their posse.
They need blue and AMS blue M&Ms in the speaker ready room. They’re there, they’re a room, has to face the South and they need at least a 25 foot limo and you know, all this kind of stuff and they won’t autograph for people, you know, all that kind of stuff. But listen, I’ve, so far I’ve interviewed about 10 people.
All of them are remarkable now. Now, I don’t want people to get the impression that my podcast is famous people. It’s remarkable people. So right now I’m on the fame street, but pretty soon you’re gonna get interviews with people you never heard of or fewer people have heard of. And so my observation so far is the more remarkable you are, the more humble you are.
Like a, you know, there’s no way that Jane Goodall takes himself too serious, or Margaret Atwood or feels Zimbardo or Steven Wolf from now. They may have the right to take themselves serious, but they’re not. They’re not like that so far. Um, and I hope somebody is saying that about me, so absolutely. That’s, and that’s good to know.
Now, what about a topic you just brought up earlier, you said, was Steve jobs the way he was before and it was tolerated or did that make him. Cause I’ve heard, I heard you say in an interview that money corrupts people. And I’ve heard many people say that. Yeah, but I’ve always had the, I’m not saying I’m right.
I’m asking you the question. I’ve always had the leading or insight that money reveals who you are more than it corrupts you. What do you think? That’s an interesting theory. Uh. I dunno how you [00:25:00] test that, right? Scientifically, because we’ve got to ask your friend who did the Stanford prison experiment, but you know what, he even, he said that wasn’t science because it was science.
You have a, uh, you know, I have apotheosis that you’re testing and you also have a control, right? So the nature of an experiment is you try to control every variable. So you’d need to set up an experiment where you took. Identical people with identical qualifications, identical capabilities, identical opportunities, and you see like which one came out the jerk and which one didn’t, and just changing one variable.
Well, you can’t do that kind of experiment. So. I don’t know the answer to that question. Yeah. I know there’s a saying that love of money is the root of all evil. It’s not money’s evil with the love of it. So it could be our, our loves can change, our desires can change. So maybe that’s what brings out the evil.
And then I also, it’s, we’re going down a rat hole of objectivity is science. So now it could be that because of who I am. Yeah. Somewhat famous that. I am treated specially by these people. Whereas if I were just. Yeah know sub service guy or something like that, they might not treat me. So I’m seeing them on their best behavior.
I don’t know how they treat other people. I don’t know how they treat me. Right. But like, you know, like you said, the litmus test was what I did when it was you and that girl in line, right? I mean, well, you passed. That means, Hey to me and to our listeners. Character means more than any kind of credential, and that to me is we’re not going to die and God is going to be impressed with how much money we have.
He’s going to be impressed with who we are and how we treat other people and how much we love him. Yeah. I mean, I know, I don’t know where you are politically, but a lot of people should be concerned about what God thinks at the end of the day. Oh yeah. You know what? I am game for politics because people say, don’t talk about politics and religion.
And those are the two most important things in the world, but we won’t waste the time of this episode. And I think that might not, might be the one thing we’ve talked about so far that I think we’re different. So you’re going to make Trump, you’re not a big Trump fan, right? Nope. Nope. Who, who you support on this next election so far?
The Democrats have to sort themselves out, right? Are you a big Trump supporter? Okay. I respect Donald Trump. I voted for Donald Trump, and I’m going to vote for Donald Trump. But I’m not a party guy. I don’t think either party is in the best interests of the nation. I believe we’re a Republic and we got lied to and told we’re a democracy and now we live like socialists and I don’t care who gets in position of leadership.
They could quickly take this country to a bad place. Yeah. So that’s my political stance. Hey, all right. It’s, I don’t know if it’s literally true anymore, but it’s a free country. You’re entitled to your beliefs as much as I am, sir. You know? Yeah. I don’t be glad you. Hello, ma’am. My best, one of my best friends since childhood, we are so similar in every aspect, but when it comes to politics.
You think we were both in a fist fight, but we’re really just talking, man, it’s a free country. Free will, but he, if I die, he takes care of my kids. That’s how close we are. Yeah. I just don’t want to talk to him about Paul. He’s got a little, he’s going to have him registered Democrats. Yeah, right. You’re going to take me surfing.
I’m going to sink like a rock and he’s going to raise my kids.
On that note, let’s take this opportunity to thank today’s sponsors. Hello ladies and gentlemen, this is Dave Paskal alone, hosted the remarkable people podcast, and I am excited to introduce you to today’s sponsor. The episode you’re about to listen to is brought to us by Pam Heinold, realtor and broker associate with better homes and gardens, real estate, Pensacola, Florida.
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Speaking about a beautiful home. What’s a house without love? You just heard him continue to hear guy Kawasaki story about what brings him the most happiness in life. His family coming from a man who travels the world has insane resources and connections and has experienced pretty much everything life has to offer.
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Give Bethany a call in this episode alone, guy Kawasaki, Steve jobs, and I, what do we all have in common? Unplanned pregnancy and adoption. Steve was adopted and he was used to shape the technological world we live in today. You’re listening to a podcast probably through an Apple podcast. My unwed mom, thankfully, she chose not to abort me, even though tons of people told her to or to put me up for adoption.
You’re hearing my voice today and guy and his wife Beth. They literally changed two amazing kids’ lives by enhancing their own family and are now sharing their remarkable story with us today and what’s most important and fulfilling to guy. His children and not just as natural born ones, but as children through adoption as well.
Because being her mom or dad isn’t just about birthing a child. It’s about loving them and raising them and being there for them. So please, if you’re pregnant and not 100% sure of what to do. If you’ve been thinking about adoption and want to learn more, or if you’re ready to adopt and make a child’s life more remarkable and special than you could ever imagine, contact Bethany today.
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Now let’s get back to the show. So what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Something somebody told you that prior? If you got to years ago, man, it would have made your life so much better. Oh, well, okay. So old. I forget all the advice. I got just one. Uh. Well, my father definitely impressed upon me the fact that the, of the concept of noblesse of leash, which is, you know, if you’re lucky, you have a moral obligation to help others.
And so I really, really firmly believe that. Um, and what’s the term you use? Uh, no bless of leash. It’s like the obligations of the nobility or something like that. [00:35:00] Not that I’m saying I’m noble or nobility, but that’s the concept that, you know, if you’re luck, if you’re, if you’re blessed, you owe it, you owe it back.
Agreed. Too much is given. Much is required. Spiderman didn’t say that. All right. What about the single greatest lesson you’ve ever learned through experience that don’t quit? Apple
brings up another question. The actually, that is really a question. I have five pages of notes and I’m just saying this is just scratching the surface. So I’ve heard you say on several podcasts that you equated leaving Apple and passing up other opportunities to about two point $3 billion conservatively.
And this is my question to you. Yeah. Okay. Sorry to bring up porn anymore. So, no, this is my question. When I was a teenager, I was the happiest of my friends. Cause I didn’t date anybody. I just did my thing and had fun with my friends and I’d watch people break up and then get back together and always turned out worse than it started.
And as I became an adult and worked for several companies and consulted. I can’t think of one employee who left or was let go and came back. And it turned out to be a positive thing. Cause usually you leave a company for a reason. So with Apple, do you really regret leaving other than the money. Well, that’s a big other.
How much, I mean, how much do you need by Jaime and I? How much do you want? You know, you can never get too many surfboards. Okay. But, but other than the money, no, honestly, I listen. If I had not left Apple, I certainly would not have tried to start companies. The life, my life path would be very different.
And if I had not left Apple. You know, I might be this total smug kind of Eagle, maniac self, whatever, self-centered, whatever, right? Using a laptop with two USB ports, using a laptop with two USB ports. Uh, but my, my personal assistant, personal assistant, that makes sure everything was set up so. Yeah. You know, I mean, first of all, you can’t go back and change that.
So why, you know, why, think about it, but don’t you find it up on several podcasts, 2.5 billion bucks? It’s hard to forget that. I mean, honestly, so, uh, but other than the money, you can sleep well at night. Yeah, I do. I do. Good, good. Well, think about that aspect. Okay. Well, you know, I mean, not to be macabre or anything, but I’m alive and Steve jobs isn’t.
Yeah, that’s true. High stress illness. You know, when you’re at ease, you’re good. When you’re at dis ease, you get diseased. Maybe, maybe God needed him right away. I want to go there. That’s another episode. Yeah. So I mean, listen, God loves everybody and he doesn’t want anybody to be in bad places. But, uh, probably Steve is telling God what to do right now.
So. I don’t think that would go well.
All right, well actually that brings up another good question. So I have five categories. I was going to make like a jeopardy board, but I brought up the walking, I’m sorry, the wise guy, Kawasaki and the walking dead plan B, no one. All employees. The law of the lid and the big break. One of those was regarding what you just mentioned, difficult bosses, the law of the lead.
So you want to hit one of those questions? What? Wait, what? So what’s the question? So this is the question. You know, John Maxwell uses a term, the law of Lynne, and it’s a concept that everybody phrases in their own way. The law of the lid. Yes. Meaning you can only go as high as your leader. So if you have a team with the most talented people in the world, they hit that ceiling.
There’s nowhere else. So a lot of people refer to it different ways. That’s just John Maxwell’s term. So Steve jobs was a visionary and he pursued the future and formed the future. But what would you say, cause his listeners now. Who were in a position where they have the talent, they have the [00:40:00] ability, and they’re stuck in a position with status quo being, okay, poor leadership.
Poor vision. Yeah. What advice would you give those people who are of all a town in the world but are stuck under that leadership? Quit. Go ahead. All right. Um, yeah, that brings us up well to the next point. Okay. Well, so you know, that’s kind of a off the cuff answer, but. Now, some people don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but I think if you bridge that idea, I don’t disagree.
Yeah. So this Ian, it’s also easy for me to say, so I think that, well, there’s several strategies. One is so proud of is, you know, you’re, you’re discussing this bad case and it’s unlikely you’re going to pull the guy or gal aside and say, listen, you know, we got a blah, blah, blah, and they’re going to say, Oh yeah, you’re right.
Let’s do it. That, I’ve never heard of that happening either. Right. So that was my question before the no one all employee. Yeah. Yeah. So some of it is you just got to look at history and say, well, you know, do you want to be Kodak or do you want to be Apple? Because. Kodak or Smith, Corona, Remington, Randall’s typewriter companies.
They could be Apple today, but no, you know, they decided they’re in the typewriter business, not the communication business, not the information business. So some of it is maybe fear will work to illustrate like, you know. Companies disappear when they don’t jump to the next curve. So that’s one. Another is a ask for forgiveness, not permission, and just go do it and then show up one day with the thing that saves the company.
Um. That can work. Uh, or I mean, seriously, there is, you know, I got all this expertise on this company. Uh, I, I, these customers are telling us that we need this, our company’s not interested. So we left and we started, you know, X, Y, Z. wow. That works too. So I don’t think there’s any single path to, to success.
Um, it could be a bunch of different ways. All right. Well, let me ask you the next question. Let’s talk about guy Kawasaki, the wise guy Kawasaki on the big break. And what I mean by this is there’s so many talented, intelligent people out there who have not just, they don’t have an Ivy league degree. They don’t even have a college degree, but they’re so talented and good at what they do.
Yeah. What do you have in regards to advice for the stars out there listening right now to this podcast, who know they can see it at a fortune 101 hundred company, but don’t have the nepotism to get that connection? How do they get their foot in the door, or is it like the Detroit lions and the Miami dolphins?
It’s going to take a miracle to get to the Superbowl. Well, when you say foot of the door, food in whose door. Okay, so there’s a company that’s massive, like Boston consulting group or Apple or any kind of large corporation, and they want to work there. They know they can do the job. They’ve been successful at small companies, but they know they can scale it to the multi-billion.
How do they get their foot in the door? Um, I think the most effective method is to, well, the, the, I think mathematically, the front door, you know, the HR click on this to apply, the probability of that is pretty low. So I think what is key is you find somebody inside the company or knows people inside the company who tell your story for you.
And that’s true of venture capital or going to work for a company. Uh, the front door isn’t gonna work. The HR door, the recruiting door. So you need to find somebody who works in the company or somebody who knows somebody at the company. I think it’s all word of mouth. I don’t think it’s a, and also don’t underestimate nepotism.
That’s how I got my job at Apple was pure nepotism. I went to school with the guy so. But you had the skills to keep it, but getting in the door was your buddy. Yeah, absolutely. So you know one thing, if you get in the door, don’t be feeling guilty about using nepotism or whatever, because the day after you get in, nobody cares how you got in.
You either deliver or you go. And I think a lot of people, you know, there’s kind of the, the reverse case where you’re totally qualified, right? You have PhD in computer science, MBA from Harvard business school. You know, you work for 10 years in the industry. You are the most perfect candidate ever. And so you think, Oh, I’m the most perfect candidate.
The waters are going to park for me. I don’t think so. I mean, you may have gotten in that way, but you know, the next day your dog me just like everybody else. Yup, [00:45:00] that’s fine. Very true. So let’s say you’re part of an organization and there is, you’re seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. It’s going down.
Yeah. You’ve done everything you can to turn the ship or to help turn the ship. What’s your philosophy? How long do you stay? How long do you bail out the boat and how long do you say, Oh boy, you know, the answer to that question is, I don’t know if I had stuck it out an Apple two more times, or either of those two times, you know, it’d be a different world, like, Hey, obviously, well, maybe not obviously, but I don’t think I’m a stupid person, and so.
Uh, not being a stupid person, and yet I quit Apple twice. You know, which you think, Oh, guy Kawasaki should have foreseen that Apple would be $1 trillion company. I don’t think so. If, if, you know, if I thought that, guess what? I wouldn’t have quit. Duh. Uh, hi. So the question is, you know, do you stay too long or do you quit too early?
It’s like investing. Do you sell or buy? Yeah, exactly. And you know what? The only thing I can say is if you, if you do either of those two things and succeed, you get to reinvent history and you say, of course I knew Apple would be successful, and if you quit and you start something successful, you say, of course I knew the right thing was to quit.
Yeah, but you can only do that afterwards. So some of it is just, you know, after the fact, reality distortion, whatever. All right, well, let’s talk about two more employee related things then we’ll move on. If you don’t mind. When I read your book in shantan, there was one section that really stood out to me.
And I believe I understood your intent, but I want to ask you, cause I have this opportunity. So on page one 66 expect me to remember what I wrote in in cabinet 10 years ago. Same concept. You probably live by it. I’m just referring for the reader and I don’t even remember what I wrote yesterday. Okay. So in your book and chanted, you put employee rule number one, make your boss look good and draft behind them.
Okay. I want to understand, and I wanted to help the listeners understand. Yeah, I agree completely. And our role is to help our boss succeed. Tell the whole organization succeed. Yeah. But this is where I wasn’t clear. If your boss asks you to do something that their tracks from the mission, that’s like a waste of time or it’s the wrong direction, do you just keep your mouth shut?
Say yes sir. Yes ma’am. Or do you express your concerns? Then do it. Like, do you clear your chest or do you just do it? Well, you see, this is why it’s easier to be an author than to be the person actually doing this, because obviously that is a very complicated question. Um, but you’re an intelligent guy.
Yeah. But that’s why I know it’s complicated. So. Uh, well, obviously there’s black and white, right? So if your boss asks you to do something clearly illegal and unethical, I don’t think you should do it. There is no, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna. Take the rap and let even the rap cause you, you don’t think that there’s going to be a rap.
Oh, I know exactly. You just, the answer’s no. The answer’s no. But if the boss asks you to, let’s just make something up, like do something that makes no purpose for hitting the company’s goals, but it’s not illegal or unethical. Not illegal or unethical, but not wise, not helpful, truly almost a waste of time.
Do you do it or do you like, let me rephrase that. Would you say, Hey, I have no problem doing that, but I think this might be a better use of my time, or do you just shut up and smile? I think. Well, it depends on your relationship with the bras, but I think you should at least say, are you sure about this?
And, and you know, walk me through, uh, because. Listen, there are many times we thought Steve jobs didn’t know what the hell he was doing, and then come to find out he was right. So, you know, it also, I guess it depends on the track record of your boss. So if your boss is, you know, more raw, more right than wrong, I say give them the benefit or give her the benefit of the doubt.
But, uh. But you would express to Steve, Hey man, you sure about that? You’d say something. Cause when I read the book and almost sounded like, just don’t say a word and do it. Well, I mean I [00:50:00] don’t think I was writing for the case where, you know where. Let’s go back to Kodak. So in 1975 some engineering events, did it have photography at Kodak?
Okay. Kodak invented digital photography. So can you imagine? He goes to his boss and says, Hey, guess what? I figured out a way people don’t have to buy film. Well, what does his boss say? Oh, hallelujah. Let’s put ourselves out of business. Good idea. Yeah. Employee of the year, bro. So, you know, then what do you do when he says, uh, not strategic, not, not our business, not what we do, you know, not whatever.
Because we’d hindsight anyway, you could say, wow, what a dumb decision. But you know, we, we only know about that one because it’s a particularly great example. Right? So for all we know, they were. 1,000 other dumb ideas that truly were dumb. And this is the thousandth and first and the only one that we can look back and say, wow, what a catastrophe.
So there in lies the complexity. Um, I, I would hope, well, so I don’t know how to answer that because how do you know. Yeah. I think it depends on the situation, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t have a blanket answer where it’s like under no circumstance saying anything, just do what he or she wants.
Well, you know, certainly, again, we take legal and ethical off the table, right? There’s, you don’t just, you know, you don’t just do that. But I think, you know, one of the subjects of my podcast is that the social environment truly influences what you’re willing to do. So, you know, feel Zimbardo sets up this experiment where some kids are students and some kids aren’t guards, and he has to end the thing because people are accepting their role too much.
Right? And you know, you and I are saying, Oh God, and we were in that experiment. We would never be the garden, you know, start browbeating the prisoners and we’re saying, yeah, and if we were the prisoners, we would never take that. We just walk out of that experiment. Well, you know, we say that now, but who knows, right?
You don’t really know what you’re going to do to, you’re in the situation. And that’s the hard part. Um, because I, I, I can’t say, well, God, you know, everybody had Kodak, must’ve been stupid. Why didn’t they embrace digital photography? cause you know, everybody had Remington. Rand was stupid. Everybody Smith Corona was stupid.
Everybody had Wayne were processor was stupid. Everybody at Atari was stupid. I mean, it’s not true. So, and sometimes you agree, timing’s just off. Yeah. I remember working for gateway. You remember Ted? Wait, yeah. They came out with a destination station. I don’t know if you remember that. So the destination was basically a completely integrated multimedia solution, which we have in our hand now.
Every home, every television. Yeah. Everything we do. But it was too early. And then you have Dell where I remember going out there for some consulting group and they hand me a phone that was smaller than my iPhone now. And when they handed it to me, me and the other advisory panel were like, this is way too big.
I’m sort of put this in their pocket. And we didn’t just think that way because the public rejected it, rejected it on large scale. There was a huge failure. But you wait two years and Apple is always, they just do what Android did two years ago and they’re successful and they claim they’re the pioneer, right?
Yeah. Like MP3. But they came out with iTunes and white headphones and it’s cool. So anyways, do you think timing has a big part of everything? Absolutely. I mean. Well, one thing I’ve learned in my life is it’s better to be lucky than smart. That’s for damn sure.
That’s a great truth. Oh, man. Well, speaking of lucky than smart, what’s one of the proudest accomplishments you have in life today? Probably the raising of my kids. I mean, not that they’re perfect or anything, but yeah. No. Listen, at the end of my life, I wonder if be remembered. Yeah. Not as an evangelist or anything like that.
I just don’t want to remember that as a great husband and father, if I got that I’m happy and you know, cream on the on top would be, well, he empowered people with his writing, speaking and podcasting. That would be cream. That’s awesome. It sounds like you’re on your way to both the, uh, I don’t know if you want to answer this or not, but I’m going to ask it.
You’re human. You’re a man. What are the struggles day to day the guy Kawasaki has like, do you have a tendency to [00:55:00] be lazy? Do you have a tendency to be short with people? What’s something that you have to struggle with to conquer? I wish I were. More organized. He’s staring at, you know, I know what I should do.
As, as, as a person, you know, wake up, what to do, how to prioritize. I suck. I interviewed Margaret Abu, she said, yeah, I sucked, dude. So I suck in organization. Um, I dunno. I’m getting less and less patient with people. Uh, you know, after a while you just. You just run out of patience, I think, and um, Oh boy, I wish I could surf better.
So that’s an area for improvement. You’re working on that though, right? Yeah. That’s not over yet. Yeah, I’m impressed. You were playing hockey into your late fifties early sixties and then to take it easy, you start surfing. That’s just not human. I don’t know how to take it. Easy part, but I mean that’s, that’s what I did.
I started hockey at 44 I started surfing at 61 so let’s just say that’s not optimal. Heck no. Now did you play ice hockey or street ice? Ice? So you are, that is. As far as I’m concerned, that is one of the most difficult and talented athletes because you’re not only skating forwards, backwards, sideways.
You’re not only passing a hard puck and a high velocity, but you have huge strong men trying to take your head off. Well, but that’s professional hockey. We not that recreational hockey. Okay, so they weren’t trying to kill you, but not on burgers. But, um, I will tell you something though, for someone who’s played hockey and surf surfing is harder.
Real. Yeah. Because surfing, um, you know, with hockey. You have. Yeah. The ice is the ice. Right. And maybe, maybe there’s some snow someplace or there’s a crack someplace or something like that, but it’s not like the ocean, the ocean. Every wave is different. And. You know, the ocean is kind of harsh, but the ocean is trying to kill you.
I mean, it’s, I mean, it’s not, doesn’t have a mental state of trying to kill you, but the ocean can kill you. It’s not like the ice is rising up and you know, you never heard of anybody saying, wow, there was a 60 foot, you know, hunk of ice coming after me. So on the other hand, falling on ISIS. More painful than falling in the water, except if there’s a reef beneath it.
But anyway. So I think there are many more variables in surfing than there are in hockey. So I think surfing is a harder sport than hockey. And you’re thoroughly enjoying it with your kids. Yes, yes, very much so. That’s awesome guy. Well, I have several more questions. Hurry up. No, man, I’m gonna. I don’t want to do that to you.
I appreciate your time today, but I do want to ask a couple more final closing questions. I love MMA. I love jujitsu and fighting. And there’s a show on ESPN called detail, and Daniel Cormier has the ability to not only fight but to commentate, to coach. So he has that where he can watch her fight and break it down what other people are doing after years of muscle memory and habit.
He breaks down how they did it step by step and in business and in life. There’s so many things you do that are just habitual and natural at this point. Yeah. But for those of us wanting to aspire to that level and that communication style, just your smile alone, how the hell do you do it? Well, I don’t know.
I’m just a happy guy. Have you always been that way? Have you always just been real easy going, big smile? You, you, you, you, you think I’m easy going, but people have to be careful about characterizing someone as easygoing because easy going does not mean I don’t deliver. And it does not mean I don’t work my ass off.
And it does not mean that, um, you know, if you cross me out, I mean, there’s . I’m not just happy go lucky. I am intense and I can, the secret to my success is I’m willing to work harder than almost anybody I know and I don’t consider myself a natural or anything like that. And it’s true of whether it’s hockey or surfing.
They’re, the [01:00:00] reason why I have accomplished anything in those two sports is because I work harder at it, not because. You know, I was born with it. And so there’s some advice there in life that is going back to hiring people. It’s that if you had to, if you had a choice between the so-called natural and the so-called person who just worked their ass off, pick the person who worked their ass off.
Agree a hundred percent yeah. And I think a lot of people are disillusioned. They think they just get the opportunity and then everything falls in their lap. You got the opportunity, but you worked your ass off and kept going, so that’s great. Thank you for sharing that. Well in honor of this episode and the wisdom shared with us, are you by a computer where you can check your email.
Ah, yeah, I just sent you an email and as a thank you and hopefully in an honor to you, I created a custom cover for this episode. I haven’t gotten it yet. Okay, well we’ll let it refresh. I know you’re using a Mac. Oh, well. Okay. I can just got it. That’s hilarious. I wish I was that skinny dude. Hey man, man, just, just for the listeners, you could check it out on your Apple or Buzzsprout or any Google podcast.
We got the remarkable special, and just so you know, we’re going to produce 223 of these shirts. You get the first one. And that’s it. And they’re $19 and 54 cents the year you were born. Oh, that’s hilarious. Collector’s edition collector’s edition shirt or ma. Thank you. Yeah, man. Yeah. I hope you like that it was meant to honor you, but if we hit the Mark, that’s hilarious.
That’s hilarious. This is a, is a very unusual relationship we have, cause you know, you could easily be. Upset with me. I could be upset with you. You know? Who knows, right? But here we are, and you know what the bottom line is? The rising tide floats all boats, and it’s not like I’m trying to steal something from you, or you’re trying to steal something from me.
It’s just. Yeah. There’s plenty of room for both of us. Absolutely. My goal, and I think yours is to help people, and we can do that together with seven, 8 billion people in the world. We need to stand together. So that’s it, my friend. I appreciate you very much. I got to ask you that last question though. Oh, what’s the last word?
Who would guy Kawasaki Wayne line to meet. Oh. Um, well, I recently waited in line to meet Michelle Obama. Okay. Uh,
this presumes I haven’t met them yet, right? Yeah. Well, I mean, you could say someone you want to meet. Uh, I got my list. The person that has to be alive, that would be creepy if it wasn’t. Uh, I would say Elizabeth Warren, but I don’t want to shake you up. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why? Why Elizabeth Warren?
Oh, I just, I just love her intellectual processing ability and you know, I know she wants to break up tech and all that, but. Oh, I find her very interesting. Hey, that’s a valid answer. Well, let’s see. I’m trying, I’m going through sports. Let’s see. Kelly’s later in surfing, maybe. Uh, well, I’m going to give you a good answer right now to did, you know, like a lot of people I would stand in line to meet.
I have met like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark the, you know, Martha Stewart. Uh, how about. Angela Merkel and what is Angela Merkel’s claim to fame? Well, she is the chancellor of Germany. Okay. My ignorance, I waited like to meet her. Okay. Well, it has been a pleasure to have you on guy. Thank you for being here today.
Pleasure to be in here. Let’s both get to about 2 million subscribers on our podcast. Amen to that back and forth. Okay. Have a great one guy. Take care. Bye bye. And to you, as our listener, thanks for being here today. I truly hope this Christmas special with the wise guy, Kawasaki brought you not only entertainment, but content and value that you can apply to your life.
And if you liked what you heard, please take a minute to rate and review the podcast on Apple, Google, or your favorite podcast directory. You can also share it with your friends and family via social media, email, or however you see fit. The more we reach, the more we [01:05:00] help and the better it is for all of us.
So thanks again for listening to this episode of the remarkable people podcast. Season one, episode eight, the Christmas special. And don’t forget to check out the show notes where you can find links to guys’ website, my website, our sponsors, websites, and a whole lot more. Thanks again for being here today.
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