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Guy Kawasaki – the Evangelist Who Heard the Apple Angels Singing

He was one of the lucky few; one of the found­ing fathers of Apple, get­ting a job straight out of col­lege through his roomie Mike Boich.

Guy Kawasa­ki cred­its his Apple expe­ri­ence with many great things, but most­ly for the chance to work for one of the world’s most excit­ing com­pa­nies and carve out a career as one of the first true dig­i­tal pio­neers. If you want to make your mark and you’re on the look­out for media jobs, Kawasaki’s lead is one you might want to fol­low.

Cur­rent­ly Kawasa­ki, who was born in Hawaii, is founder of Garage Tech­nol­o­gy Ven­tures and co-founder of Alltop.com, an online mag­a­zine rack giv­ing users easy access to the web’s most pop­u­lar top­ics, but he wasn’t always at the fore­front of online inno­va­tion.

From Hon­olu­lu to Sil­i­con Val­ley

Born in 1954 in one of the tougher neigh­bour­hoods of Hon­olu­lu, Guy Kawasa­ki attend­ed Iolani School, which he states gave him a ‘fan­tas­tic and for­ma­tive edu­ca­tion’. He has par­tic­u­lar­ly fond mem­o­ries of his Eng­lish teacher who, he believes, would have been shocked to learn that he’s writ­ten 10 books.

After grad­u­at­ing Iolani in 1972, Kawasa­ki made the jour­ney to Stan­ford where he grad­u­at­ed with a major in psy­chol­o­gy. He then attend­ed law school at UC Davis, which is hat­ed and left after a week, much pre­fer­ring an MBA pro­gram at UCLA. Dur­ing his time in Cal­i­for­nia he worked for a jew­el­ry com­pa­ny called Nova Stylings, where he cut his teeth in sales.

Jobs at a num­ber of soft­ware com­pa­nies fol­lowed after, he stat­ed, the ‘Apple II removed the scales from my eyes’; but an acqui­si­tion meant a move to Atlanta was on the cards. A move he didn’t want to make. Which is where Mike Boich comes in…

“I owe Mike a great debt,” said Kawasa­ki. “When I saw what a Mac­in­tosh could do, the clouds part­ed and the angels start­ed singing. For four years I evan­ge­lized Mac­in­tosh to soft­ware and hard­ware devel­op­ers and led the charge against world-wide dom­i­na­tion by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple dur­ing this timeframe—Apple has been very good to me.”

He left Apple in 1987 and set up ACIUS, devel­op­ers of 4th Dimen­sion, an Apple data­base that’s still laud­ed today; and he sub­se­quent­ly found­ed Fog City Soft­ware. He was also writ­ing for Forbes, Mac­world and Macuser dur­ing this time.

Guy returned to Apple in 1995 as an Apple Fel­low and evan­ge­list; there to rein­vig­o­rate the sup­pos­ed­ly dying Cult of Apple.

Since Apple…

On leav­ing a very healthy Apple in 1997, Kawasa­ki set up Angel investor match­mak­ing ser­vice Garage.com with Craig John­son and Richard Karl­gaard. Ver­sion 2.0 of Garage.com helped entre­pre­neurs access invest­ment from VCs look­ing for star­tups.

Like many oth­er tech pio­neers, Kawasa­ki is unfazed by the rapid expan­sion of the dig­i­tal land­scape and cer­tain­ly appears to be rev­el­ling in help­ing out the young peo­ple who want to expand the bound­aries and devel­op new and use­ful tools, just like he did 25 years ago, but he’s also keep­ing his hand in with his own ven­ture Alltop.com, a resource designed to pull togeth­er the web’s most top­i­cal infor­ma­tion to make it eas­i­er to access for data-hun­gry surfers.

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