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.
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.