Back in 1991 I did a stint as the marketing director of Fox Software (the makers of FoxPro, the famous database system). I had been involved in the technical area for several years, designing and coding the user interface for FoxPro, for example, but I wanted to try my hand at marketing. It was a blast.
Fox had released FoxPro the previous year at a wildly successful Developers Conference. The conference was a Woodstock of PC database people, with the introductory demonstration of FoxPro getting a five-minute standing ovation replete with lighters held high. It was a tough act to follow.
It was up to me to put on the next year’s conference, with no big product to announce, and not a lot to crow about. So I scrounged around for a speaker and found Guy Kawasaki, the original “evangelist”, who had recently moved on from Apple to hang out his own shingle. I talked Guy into coming to Toledo, Ohio and speaking at the second annual Fox Developers Conference.
Guy was quite a good draw, and people looked forward to hearing him. Just as he was headed for the stage, I asked him if he needed anything. He thought carefully, then looked seriously at me and described a very specific set of Mont Blanc pens. There was a long pregnant pause until I realized he was joking, and after a good chuckle, I introduced him and off he went. I quickly had an assistant run down the street to the jeweler and purchase the pens, so that when he was done speaking, we presented him with the pens in front of the audience. I think we scared him silly.
Today, Guy Kawasaki is a speaker and author. Never suffering from a lack of ego, his web site is, as they say “all about him”. It boldly has a section called “Guy’s Golden Touch” that touts the startups that Guy has been involved with in some way. Not sure how the golden touch is working, but there are some interesting connections.
Guy’s blog on this site is always an interesting read. Although he is want to fall into the trap of making “Top 10” lists (see my post on that here) and some of his advice is a tad pedantic, he is a straight shooter with plenty of opinions on a broad range of subjects. I check the blog every week or so and often find something worth the effort. You might also find it useful.