A Night in the Life of Guy Kawasaki Plus Cool Stuff Friday


It’s 10:30 pm, and I’m sitting on a baggage cart on the tarmac of the Monterey, California airport. My U. S. Airways flight was set to depart and then an engine warning light went on—this was two hours ago. The reason we’re all on the tarmac is that a fire alarm went off, so we had to evacuate the terminal.

Still, this is better than the last time I flew on U. S. Airways. That time the one of the plane’s engines died, and we made an “unscheduled stop” in Kansas City and then had to wait four hours for another plane to fly in. What’s all of the got to do with this entry? Nothing except that I’ve had two hours to compile a short list of cool stuff.

It’s been one of those days. This afternoon I spoke for my buddies at Cisco. Just before the speech, I discovered that the recently dry-cleaned pants that I packed were my son’s, not mine, so I had to give the speech wearing jeans. One high point: Reggie Jackson was on the flight too, but he left after two hours of waiting. He was giving out autographs—though he didn’t ask me for mine. πŸ™‚ If I get to Las Vegas anytime soon, I’m speaking for the Entrepeneurs’ Organization.

  • “25 Tools to Compile an In-Depth Dossier on a Competitors’ Site.” This article contains description and links for you to scope out your competition’s web site. It covers topics such as ownership, traffic, links, trademarks, and browser compatibility.

  • “The Web Entrepreneur’s Customer Service Toolbox: 100 Hacks and Resources.” This is a compilation of useful tools and services to maintain a high-level of customer service. These tools help you keep in touch, run meetings, do accounting, provide support, and solicit feedback.

  • MeVu. This site enables you to create a page of links to all your web presences. This means that people can go to one location for your profiles on Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn; pictures in Flickr and PhotoBucket; videos in YouTube; and musings in multiple blogs. Here is a sample.

  • Catalog Choice. This is a not-for-profit that helps you reduce the amount of tree-killing, dump-filling, money-wasting catalogs that you receive (19 billion catalogs are printed each year in the U. S.). You denote which catalogs are coming to you, and Catalog Choice tells the companies to back off. It’s a free service.

  • Best Book Combo. The site searches the catalogs of AbeBooks.com, Amazon.com, BetterWorld.com, and Alibris.com and determines the best total price (that is, including shipping and handling) of a book. For example, the AbeBooks price for The Art of the Start was $17.54 compared to Amazon.com’s $18.20.

Incidentally, this is a stock photo, not the MRY terminal, from iStockphoto by “Sparky2000.”

By |2016-10-24T14:18:02+00:00October 25th, 2007|Categories: Books, Cool Stuff|Tags: |36 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. Erin Blaskie October 26, 2007 at 12:03 am - Reply

    I don’t think it would be a US Airways flight without at least one interesting story… πŸ™‚
    Erin Blaskie
    Business Services, ETC

  2. Samantha October 26, 2007 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Interesting Story

  3. Ada October 26, 2007 at 3:59 am - Reply

    As always great resources and interesting info!
    Best Regards, Ada

  4. Markus October 26, 2007 at 4:10 am - Reply

    Guy, would you please bring back full post content to the RSS feed? More often than not I catch up on my reading while I’m offline, and I would hate to miss out on you blog. Thanks!

  5. russ October 26, 2007 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Thanks. I always learn something new on your blog. And one time I even got a free book out of it! That that was awesome!!!!

  6. Lee Hunter October 26, 2007 at 5:50 am - Reply

    The Mevu link has an extra “http”.

  7. Hans October 26, 2007 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Hey Guy,
    I’m very surprised you recommend Best Book Combo. There are tons of much better book price comparisons. I personally like a lot bookfinder.com. You can search many more shops and calculate shipping costs to every country in the world.
    Also, I agree with Markus, can you bring back full content to the feed?

  8. Robyn Tippins October 26, 2007 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I’ve yet to enjoy a US Air flight. I’m currently enjoying United the most, of all the airlines. I travel too much to really like any airline. Unfortunately, the more you use airlines, the more horror stories you collect.
    While I hate it that you are stuck in lala-land, I have to say it was to my benefit. I opened up each of these in tabs, and bookmarked all but one. Very useful πŸ™‚

  9. Robert John Ed October 26, 2007 at 8:23 am - Reply

    I dislike visiting websites. That’s why I use an RSS. Why did you change to this format?
    I probably won’t ever visit your website to read an article unless it’s VERY noteworthy, whereas before I read everything you wrote.
    If you continue to post as such, I’m probably going to unsubscribe. Please keep in mind that this isn’t meant as a threat or hostile, more just a notice as a reader.
    Thanks, and take care!

  10. Joe Friend October 26, 2007 at 8:46 am - Reply

    I’ll second the request for full posts in your RSS feeds.

  11. Roy Blumenthal October 26, 2007 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Hi Guy…
    I’m joining the clamour for your bringing back full feed RSS.
    I realllllly don’t visit websites in order to read blogs. I use Google Reader. And your blog has just emasculated itself! It’s impossible to even get a SENSE of the story from the feeble two lines you’re offering.
    And even if I GOT the sens of the post, I skim the thing before reading it anyway.
    Please bring back the full feed.
    I’ve had three blogs in my ‘have-to-read’ folder… yours, Seth’s, Scoble’s. Now when I go to yours, I see two lines of nothing.
    I’m keen to know if you’re just performing an experiment. Are you trying to see if people unsubscribe? Are you trying to generate advertising traffic on your site? I can’t make any sense of your decision. Is it in error? Has a setting clicked over by mistake?
    Please change it. I WANT to read your blog.
    Blue skies

  12. gemorris October 26, 2007 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I dropped the freakenomics blog when they switched away from full RSS, and I’ll drop yours too.
    Let me get this straight: I provide my content for free and you’re threatening to not read my stuff unless I make it most convenient for you? Ever seen Blazing Saddles?
    How about this? I watch PBS, never make any donation, and when they do fundraising pitches, I get angry and tell them that unless they stop asking for donations, I won’t watch their programs anymore.

  13. Iowa Hansen October 26, 2007 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I second all opinions above. Bring back full RSS! If you care about advertising, put it into the content. I don’t visit web sites anymore!

  14. Rhodes Davis October 26, 2007 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I read VERY FEW blogs but read yours daily through RSS when I eat lunch at my desk. Like “Robert John Ed,” I’ll read pretty much anything you write when it is in RSS but skipped yesterday’s article and almost skipped today (glad I didn’t) because of the format change. Please return to full content on RSS.

  15. Marc Duchesne October 26, 2007 at 10:03 am - Reply

    At least you’ve got a WiFi connection out there !

  16. Roger Anderson October 26, 2007 at 11:53 am - Reply

    US Air acquired America West Airlines. There are many reasons why America West was called “America’s Worst” and now you know why too.
    As a startup we could not afford expensive flights so I often used America West. After too many missed meetings it became apparent that the cost savings was not worth the risk.
    It is nice to get some forced rest but not too often.
    On the RSS issue: I like the shorter format. I get tired of having to try to scroll through huge articles to review what I may have missed. I do think that your lead paragraphs may be a bit sparse and not as grabbing as they could be. Just my opinion. πŸ™‚

  17. Jim Glinn October 26, 2007 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    As long as you continue to post information that I find valuable I will continue to go to your website regardless of your RSS format.
    I bet others will go there as well….but you can’t blame them for trying!

  18. Dan Becker October 27, 2007 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Hi Guy – you can have your feed be whatever you like, it’s obviously up to you.
    One suggestion, though: if your feed is only going to have the first snip of your post, don’t bury the lede! Let me know in those first lines what the post is actually about. That way I’ll know whether to click through, and won’t miss something interesting because the first line is about being stuck in an airport — which you have to admit, is not very interesting!
    Good point. I’ll be sure to write better leads.

  19. Dave Kurlan October 27, 2007 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Guy, it looks like you have a few lazy, whining readers. Don’t let them influence or represent the thousands of readers who are thrilled to come to your site and read your thoughts. Your content is always great and it’s their loss if they don’t want to twitch their thumb one more time. Geez!
    Just your link to CatalogChange.com will save more time than the time it takes to click through to your site! Great tip

  20. A October 27, 2007 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I consume all of my content vis RSS, and a partial feed has the same impact on my feed reading that paying cash does in this commercial:

    Like “Robert John Ed,” I will probably unsubscribe if the full feeds don’t return. As Robert also said, this isn’t intended as a threat; it’s just a piece of feedback, a notification. It’s completely within your right to want to be paid to blog.
    Regarding your PBS argument above, I disagree that what you’re doing is the same as a PBS once-a-year fundraising pitch. Partial feeds are like a constant, year-round fundraising pitch, and I can’t think of anyone I know that would watch PBS if they were fundraising year-round.
    Let me get this straight: Clicking on a link to go to a web page is the same as your show being interrupted and being asked to donate $20 to get a PBS coffee mug?
    Also, theoretically the info in my blog will help you make your company more successful. So you are not willing to click in order to learn something that may make you more successful and it’s my fault? Wow, I hope you can explain that to your shareholders.

  21. Ryan October 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    How about going back to full RSS but putting ads in the feeds? Best of both worlds.

  22. Jason J. October 27, 2007 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    US Airways…*sigh*…very similar experience

  23. A October 27, 2007 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    No, nothing about a decision on my part to stop reading your blog (and the resulting change in value to my life one way or the other) would be your fault. I wouldn’t push the responsibility for a decision I made onto someone else.
    It’s a matter of convenience and what full feeds allow me to do. Full feeds let me read hundreds of blogs in a manageable amount of time. I probably hit the ‘next’ button in my RSS reader every 2-4 seconds as I skim each post (stopping to read the posts I find interesting, of course). Partial feeds mean I have to open a new tab, wait for a page to load, and then close it. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s basically doubling, if not tripling, the time it takes me to process a post (in the event that I’m not that interested in it). If everyone used partial feeds, I wouldn’t be able to follow nearly as many blogs. Thus, it’s not that the information you provide isn’t worth a few extra seconds; it’s that the opportunity cost of dealing with partial feeds is too high. There’s SO MUCH interesting information out there!
    And yes, I realize there’s probably some level of hypocrisy in saying all of the above and then taking several minutes to write a comment. Think of all the blog posts I could have read in this amount of time! =)
    I second the idea of evaluating the benefits of putting ads in full RSS feeds. That’s a monetization strategy I support!

  24. mike foster October 27, 2007 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    The joys of air travel. Jet engines go out and fire alarms go off in airports. Good times.

  25. Henry October 27, 2007 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Hey guy,
    In your next ‘cool things’ list – maybe include browsercam. I use it all the time and continue to be amazed how often I meet web folks that don’t know about it.
    In a nutshell it lets you view any website on a huge range on computers/platforms.
    It’s free for the first couple of hundred snaps/24hrs, but for the first couple of years I used it I just used a different email address for each use.

  26. Tiffani Barnes October 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Wow, that sounds like an ordeal. Gotta say, I’m glad it was you and not me. Perhaps its time to consider flying with a different airline? Nice photo choice. πŸ˜‰

  27. Tina Su October 27, 2007 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Good post!I enjoy the content of you blog.Keep up the awesome work.
    Love & Gratitude,
    Think Simple. Be Decisive.
    ~ Productivity, Motivation & Happiness

  28. Natasha Miller October 28, 2007 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Guy-
    I absolutely worship your blog. I’m serious. Better than anything else I “stumbleupon” on the net. Well, I like that site too, which I think I learned about from you. As well, I think mevu.com is beautiful! I’ve “made friends” with Mark, the guy who thought it up.
    My page: http://www.mevu.com/natashamiller
    Thanks for all of your insight into the web and technology!

  29. zac October 29, 2007 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Guy, Small world! I was on the USAirways flight from Charlotte to KC that picked you up for your remaining leg to SF. We had to switch planes in Charlotte because the original plane wasn’t big enough to take everyone to SF.
    It was a late night and you still had a long flight ahead of you. You have my sympathy.
    That plane didn’t come in empty? You’re pulling my leg, right?

  30. Jon October 29, 2007 at 5:49 am - Reply

    As with any other aspect of life… shit happens, it’s what you do with this time that’s important… looks like you put this set-back into the productive arena!

  31. Eddie October 29, 2007 at 8:37 am - Reply

    I had problems with US Airways earlier this month too.

  32. Mike October 29, 2007 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Wow, your comments regarding this RSS feed issue are very surprising. You should really adopt a more Seth Godin attitude towards your readers.

  33. Will October 31, 2007 at 6:29 am - Reply

    I guess the question for each of us is, “what is the value of this RSS feed?”.
    Some of us will see it as a useful index of the blog, some will abandon it and go straight to the blog and some will abandon it because they no longer get useful content off line.
    Guy must have calculated that the net impact for his advertisers is positive. This is a legitimate calculation, since they are paying.
    Is there a mechanism to track advertisements delivered through RSS feeds? Even if there were, the value of such an ad would presumably be a lot lower than one delivered to a live page, where the lucky reader can just click and spend.
    Where can I get those GK coffee mugs, by the way?

  34. Dave October 31, 2007 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Well, if you don’t like all the bull shiitake, maybe you shouldn’t eat shiitake.

  35. ChrisD November 8, 2007 at 3:32 am - Reply

    You have just lost me. Clipped RSS feeds, lack-luster postings.
    It amazes me that you think that one line teasers is the best approach for your readers.
    I am sure you will see others others do the same.

  36. Harald Felgner November 21, 2007 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Reminds me of an early-morning flight from Munich to Amsterdam when the crew announced – boarding completed – that during the night the wrong plane had been fueled, this one being completely empty πŸ˜‰
    We had to wait for the firefighters to show up in order to proceed.

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