“If you do something worthwhile, you will have competitors. And if there are no competitors, you should think about whether you really have a worthwhile business”. Guy Kawasaki’s rules of success for tough times
When in the midst of the pandemic, journalists via Zoom contacted the venture capitalist of Silicon Valley, the chief evangelist of Canva and the creator of the Remarkable People podcast Guy Kawasaki, he didn’t even remember what day it was.
I get up at dawn and surf for two and a half hours, then have breakfast. Then I reply to emails, edit the podcast, record keynotes, and make live appearances. Then I have lunch and surf again. Then I reply to more emails, edit more, record more keynotes, and make more appearances. My life is like Groundhog Day – often I can’t tell you what day of the week it is
Guy Kawasaki, a Japanese-American businessman, holds a BA from Stanford, an MA from UCLA and an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
Kawasaki also writes – he is the author of EPA, What the Plus !, Enchantment and nine other books. In them, he describes his job experience at Apple in the 80s, Nononina and Canva, gives real advice leading to a successful startup. Kawasaki was one of the earliest Apple employees and one of the best — he took over responsibility for marketing the Macintosh computer and did the job brilliantly.
He himself was amazed at the advantages of the new computer. Guy Kawasaki developed his own marketing principle and called it “evangelism”. The word comes from the Greek “spreading the good news”.
Kawasaki has successfully implemented a word of mouth marketing formula that works like word of mouth. The buyer must have enough faith in the product to spread the good news about it to colleagues and friends.
The principles of evangelism were also laid down in the foundation of Nononina, which is co-founded by Kawasaki. He came up with the Truemors website, whose content was successfully created with enthusiasm by the users themselves.
Now Guy Kawasaki is spreading the good news of Canva – an online editor that has democratized design and empowered millions of people to create beautiful graphics and communicate better. With the beginning of difficult times, he suggests asking himself the question: “What?”
Most importantly, based on everything you know about your business, the needs of your customers, and that a pandemic and similar restrictions are long-term. Ask yourself what business opportunities will emerge? What new products should you create? What new services should be launched? This is the key to marketing in a pandemic and post-pandemic world
How do you know that you are on the right track to success? It’s also easy: “If you do something worthwhile, you will have competitors. And if there are no competitors, you should think about whether you really have a worthwhile business”.
“For a business to be successful, you have to live it,” Kawasaki is sure. He is perhaps the only American opinion leader who denies the possibility of an honest work-personal balance.
The work-life balance is a myth. At different stages in your life, it’s one or the other – or at least predominantly one or the other. You don’t accomplish remarkable things without sacrifice. There are going to be times when you are underpaid and overworked and times when you are overpaid and underworked. Assume, there isn’t balance and then any time there are episodes of joy, you’ll be happy. This is much better
Guy Kawasaki is confident that every businessman and marketer should be patient and understand that it will take a long time to return to the original pre-pandemic state. Moreover, a full return will not happen anyway. You don’t have to be just a runner. You need to transform into an all-around champion, you need to perform well in various competitions.
Kawasaki’s second commandment for difficult times is “Milk your milking cows”. Everyone has something in their product line that doesn’t cost too much, a product that sells best. In difficult times, the venture capitalist believes, it is worth paying attention to this product. For example, Apple milked the well-known Apple-2 line to pay for the more revolutionary Macintosh line.
Money is everything, and from a marketing point of view, it is necessary for survival
“Now is the best time to get rid of excess ballast – from a line of not very popular products, from those techniques in the marketing platform that do not work,” said a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Personal business is very important for each of the owners.
For example, a leader in a pandemic has to deal with many variables – partnerships are still important, but you should be prepared that the partner may not be able to work or even go out of business.
American businessman Guy Kawasaki advises to pay attention to the database of clients and partners and to establish new connections with them. Moreover, he appreciates contact by e-mail more than simply by subscribing to social networks.
“Most venture capitalists will not look at a business plan if the author is not recommended to them,” says Kawasaki. Personal contacts are even more valuable in difficult times.
Another commandment of investor Guy Kawasaki is to work in the opposite direction.
Many companies, pandemic or not, work forward from what they are currently doing or what they currently can do. If Kodak had worked backwards, they would have figured out they are not in the chemicals business, they are in the creation of memories business.
“Creating something that is much better than money is the main task of business in difficult times,” says Kawasaki.