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 eleven other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
While in school, he worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; hence, his first real job was counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and his Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, Kawasaki learned how to sell, and this skill was vital to his career.
Kawasaki remained at Nova for a few years until the Apple II removed the scales from his eyes. Then he went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted Kawasaki to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so” was his reaction because he couldn’t live in a city where people call sushi, “bait.”
Luckily, his Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got Kawasaki a job at Apple. So one could make the case that Kawasaki owes Mike everything. When Kawasaki saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years Kawasaki evangelized Macintosh to developers. He also met his wife at Apple during this timeframe–Apple was very good to Kawasaki .
Around 1987, Kawasaki's job at Apple was done because Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so he left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. To this day, 4th Dimension is a great database.
Kawasaki ran ACIUS for two years and then left to pursue his bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting. He wrote for MacUser, Macworld, and Forbes. Kawasaki calls these the “Wonder Years” as in “I wonder why I deserve such a good life.”
In 1989, Kawasaki started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best co-founders in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. They created an email product called Emailer and then a list server product called LetterRip.
In 1995 Kawasaki returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die. (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits.) Kawasaki's job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.
In 1997, Kawasaki left Apple to start an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 2.0 of Garage.com was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 of Garage.com is called Garage Technology Ventures; it is a venture capital firm and makes direct investments in early-stage technology companies.
In 2004, Kawasaki worked at Garage and then he began writing and speaking. Eventually he started another company with Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkens. This company created a website called Alltop–for “all the topics.” It aggregates RSS feeds and organizes them into topics such as photography.alltop.com, Macintosh.alltop.com, and social-media.alltop.com. It also publishes human-interest stories that elicit the reaction, “Holy kaw!”
Then in 2013, Kawasaki became a special advisor to the CEO of the Motorola division of Google. In 2014, Kawasaki resurrected the title “chief evangelist” and joined a Sydney-based company called Canva. This company provides an online, graphic-design service. Its goal is to democratize design. If you need graphics for social media, flyers, posters, infographics, business cards, or book covers, check it out.
In 2015 Kawasaki was appointed to the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. He joined Wikimedia in order to help democratize knowledge. What could be cooler than democratizing computers, design, and knowledge?
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