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Kawasaki on Management

I've been around the Macintosh world since about 1985, so I'm real familiar with Guy Kawasaki. Guy was the software evangelist for the Mac -- the guy who went around persuading software developers to write for this unusual and innovative computer. In the intervening years, he wrote a couple of books about what became known as guerrilla marketing; those books are still on my shelves. In certain circles, he was (and is) quite famous. In certain circles, he became sort of yesterday's news. Now, he runs a venture company and a news aggregator Alltop.com.

But there's an excellent interview with him in this past Friday's NYTimes, where he dispenses some pretty insightful advice about careers and marketing:

Sales is everything. As long as you’re making sales, you’re still in the game....

They should teach students how to communicate in five-sentence e-mails and with 10-slide PowerPoint presentations. If they just taught every student that, American business would be much better off... Because no one wants to read “War and Peace” e-mails. Who has the time? Ditto with 60 PowerPoint slides for a one-hour meeting. What you learn in school is the opposite of what happens in the real world. In school, you’re always worried about minimums. You have to reach 20 pages or you have to have so many slides or whatever. Then you get out in the real world and you think, “I have to have a minimum of 20 pages and 50 slides.”

...In the end, success in business comes from the willingness to grind it out. It’s not because of the brilliant idea. It’s because you are willing to work hard.

Most people who graduate from college think they have to make a perfect choice.... They think that their first job is going to determine their career, if not their life. Looking back, that’s absolutely incorrect. By definition you cannot make a mistake in your first job... Let’s say you join a start-up, and it implodes. You would learn more about leadership inside a company that crashes than you would inside the next Google. Specifically, you will learn what not to do. You can’t make a mistake as a college graduate.
Jobs for college graduates should make them gain knowledge in at least one of these three areas: how to make something, how to sell something or how to support something.

It's a quick read. Worth the time.


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