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Think Remarkable

Blurbs

Think Remarkable is not just a typical self-help narrative: it challenges us not only to improve our own individual lives but also to create a positive impact on the world around us.”
Jane Goodall

Think Remarkable does something never before achieved: It provides a beautifully written, clear roadmap for building, optimizing, and sustaining personal and professional growth. I would have avoided so many missteps if, when starting out, I’d had this book.”
Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion

Think Remarkable is a powerful call-to-action that deeply resonates with the ethos of my work. It is a book for those ready to embrace their potential, achieve remarkable growth, and make their mark on the world.”
Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

“This book is a roadmap, showing by example what true leadership looks like. Grounded in the stories of remarkable people, it tackles the many obstacles to success, and guides the reader in crafting an action plan uniquely sculpted to match a personal vision.”
Julia Cameron, bestselling author ofThe Artist’s Way

“What a joy this was to edit! I’ve been freelancing for Wiley for several decades, and honestly this is one of my very favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.”
Amy Handy, copy editor of Think Remarkable

“Guy Kawasaki is a wonder. I don’t know anyone as relentlessly enthusiastic about helping other people be their best. Think Remarkable is an expression of that ebullience, and I recommend it to anyone who is hoping to make themselves–and the world–better than they are today.”
Angela Duckworth, MacArthur Fellow and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“I wish we had this book when we started Apple.”
Woz

Description

In Think Remarkable, tech titan and creator of the Remarkable People podcast Guy Kawasaki delivers a practical, tactical, and sometimes radical discussion of how to transform your life and make a difference.

The book includes insights from over 200 extraordinary people, such as:

Stacey Abrams

• Bob Cialdini


• Carol Dweck


• Jane Goodall


• Olivia Julianna


• Mark Rober


• Stephen Wolfram


• Steve Wozniak

It synthesizes this knowledge with more than forty years of working with these organizations:

Apple
Apple
Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Canva
Google
Mercedes-Benz

In Think Remarkable, you’ll learn:

  • How to adopt a growth mindset, develop grit and resilience, and embody grace
  • Why it’s possible to make a difference, become a better person, and lead a fulfilling life
  • What ideas and strategies enable you to transform your outlook to prepare for major changes

An essential guide to focusing on what really matters in life, Think Remarkable is perfect for anyone who wants to make the world—and themselves—a little (or a lot) better.

Resellers

Amazon
Amazon
Mac Team 1984
Barnes & Noble
Mac Team 2009
Porchlight Books

Summary of Book

Introduction

The book opens with a story of the iconic “Think Different” advertising campaign that Apple ran in 1997, using images of remarkable innovators who changed the world, such as Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi.

This sets the tone for the book’s mission: providing a roadmap for readers to become remarkable by making a difference, improving lives, and inspiring others. The author emphasizes that becoming remarkable should not be the primary goal, but instead a natural outcome.

Forming a “pocket pamphlet” design, the book comprises approximately 200 pages, categorized into three distinct sections: Growth, Grit, and Grace, each containing three chapters.

Much of the compelling content is sourced from over 200 interviews with remarkable people, including Jane Goodall, Stacey Abrams, Olivia Julianna, Bob Cialdini, and Carol Dweck, plus Guy’s experiences in such companies as Apple, Canva, Mercedes, and Google as well as several startups.

Chapter 1: Acquire the Growth Mindset

This chapter explores the “growth mindset,” which posits that one’s capabilities and intellect are malleable and can be enhanced through diligence and effort. In contrast, a “fixed mindset” holds that an individual’s abilities are permanent and unalterable.

Guy describes how his belief in his own capabilities was challenged upon encountering the writings of psychologist Carol Dweck and author Brenda Ueland. He demonstrated the efficacy of a growth mindset by adopting sports such as surfing and hockey late in life.

Key concepts consist of:

  • Finding support for your growth
  • Taking baby steps
  • Embracing envy as a motivating factor

Chapter 2: Embrace Vulnerability

Without exception, the journey towards “remarkableness” is fraught with setbacks, delays, and mistakes. This chapter provides an analysis of how many remarkable people embraced vulnerability in order to grow.

Although concerns and self-doubt can be paralyzing, Guy advocates for their complete recognition. Activists who confront prejudices are profiled, including marathoner and ALS patient Andrea Lytle Peet. Additional crucial concepts include:

  • Bracing for impact
  • Learning from failure
  • Using naysayers as positive influences

Chapter 3: Plant Many Seeds

Continuous development from exposure to a wide range of ideas, skills, and individuals enables you to “plant many seeds.” This chapter draws lessons from the process of planting oaks on a denuded hill.

Guy describes how tenacity in pursuing childhood interests enabled pioneers to discover their life’s purpose. Additional crucial concepts:

  • Trusting the dots
  • Building random connections
  • Making yourself indispensable

Chapter 4: Do Good Shit

Implementation is everything, so this chapter explains how to do, as opposed to thinking about doing. “Good shit” is defined as material, transformative results, such as products, services, organizations, and works of art. Fervor, commitment, and persistence are necessary in the pursuit of success.

One’s needs and pain points are the best sources of innovation. Moral outrage towards injustices also frequently energizes change. Other concepts for creating good shit are also discussed:

  • Asking simple questions
  • Working backwards from the customer
  • Going and seeing, as well as going and being

Chapter 5: Get Beyond Eureka

Having ideas causes a momentary enthusiasm. But ideas, like talk, are cheap, and results are dear. This chapter discusses how to implement inspiration and progress beyond the “aha!” ideation stage.

Continual effort and practical experimentation are essential for any innovator to surpass initial brainstorming sessions. Key concepts consist of:

  • Proving the viability of concepts with prototypes
  • Savoring your shit sandwiches
  • Making decisions right

Chapter 6: Sell Your Dream

Convincing others of your vision via evangelism, coalition-building, and persuasion is what determines the magnitude of your achievements. This chapter explains what it takes to get people to believe in your ideas as much as you do.

The process starts with attracting early adopters who turn solo “nutcases” into a movement. Key concepts include:

  • Getting your foot in the door
  • Finding something in common
  • “Letting 100 flowers blossom”

Chapter 7: Lead by Example

Leadership that is truly effective is characterized by insight, courage, and regard for the well-being of the group. By applying high standards to elevate teams, this chapter gleans insights from remarkable leaders who have inspired people.

For the marathon of sustained contribution that is necessary to make a difference, the author recommends these key principles:

  • Putting skills, not degrees, first
  • Crafting “good situations”
  • Managing by “Zooming” around

Chapter 8: Take the High Road

This chapter explores the altruistic qualities that distinguish extraordinary individuals who have made the transition from “success” to “grace.”

Recommending that we seek fulfillment rather than materialism and fame, this chapter advises overcoming ego and instead contributing to one’s community. Additional crucial concepts include:

  • Valuing all people
  • Paying back society by fulfilling one’s “success oblige”
  • Changing how you keep score

Chapter 9: Turn and Burn

The concluding chapter focuses on implementing the tactical and practical techniques espoused in the book. The key concepts consist of:

  • Leaving no regrets behind
  • Drawing inspiration from remarkable people who experienced setbacks
  • Seeing and seizing opportunities to make a difference

Afterword

At the conclusion of the book, Guy encourages readers to draw inspiration from one last person: artist and author Halim Flowers, who has made a difference despite being given two life sentences at the age of seventeen.

Pictures

Click the image for full size and to download.

Pictures of the authors

Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki
Madisun Nuismer
Madisun Nuismer
Guy & Madisun
Guy Kawasaki & Madisun Nuismer
Guy & Madisun
Guy Kawasaki & Madisun Nuismer

Pictures of the cover

Cover JPG
Think Remarkable Cover JPG
Cover PNG
Think Remarkable Cover PNG
Cover Small
Think Remarkable Cover Small
Cover Square
Think Remarkable Square

Pictures from the book

Guy & Jane
Jane Goodall at TEDx
Mac Team 1984
Mac Team 1984
Mac Team 2009
Mac Team 2009
Martha Nino
Martha Nino
Andrea Lytle Peet
Andrea Lytle Peet
Mac Team 2009
Think Different Poster
Oak
Oak
MAGA
MAGA
Kelly Gibson
Kelly Gibson
Mark Rober
Mark Rober

Suggested Questions for Interviews

We know from our own experience that coming up with questions for guests is a difficult task. So here is a list of nearly one hundred questions that you can ask us about the book.

  1. What inspired you to connect the book’s title to Apple’s iconic “Think Different” campaign?
  2. Was it worth confronting Steve Jobs in the “Think Different” rollout meeting?
  3. How did you become so close to Jane Goodall?
  4. How were you able to get to so many remarkable people for your podcast and book?
  5. After 200-plus episodes, what common mindset or motivation seems to drive so many remarkable people regardless of field?
  6. Why did you opt for a condensed “pocket pamphlet” format versus a traditional 300-page business book?
  7. What’s step 1 for someone wanting to make a difference and become remarkable?
  8. How is “making a difference” distinct from more conventional pursuits of wealth, fame, or power?
  9. What do you mean by “becoming remarkable isn’t the objective” for remarkable people?
  10. How did a professor at Stanford cause you to start playing hockey in your forties and start surfing in your sixties?
  11. Who is the most remarkable person you’ve ever met?
  12. What was the division of labor between you and Madisun?
  13. Did you use AI to write the book? How? Why?
  14. Isn’t that cheating?
  15. How can people use AI to make a difference and become remarkable?
  16. Why did it take you so long to try surfing, considering that you grew up surrounded by iconic surf culture in Hawaii?
  17. How have you “grown” lately?
  18. Why do gracious thought leaders like Jane Goodall still exude such humility despite their global influence?
  19. How did you come to write your first book, The Macintosh Way?
  20. What’s the difference between a passion and an interest?
  21. Why is it better to first pursue “interests” that may turn into passions, rather than fixating on finding one elusive passion?
  22. What was your initial reaction when Carol Dweck first explained the transformational difference between fixed and growth mindsets?
  23. Can antagonists and naysayers positively contribute to the process of making a difference and becoming remarkable?
  24. What core business skills did you gain from starting out in sales roles, and how do they translate into other functions?
  25. What lessons did you learn from repopulating a denuded hill with acorns that will hopefully grow into mighty oak trees?
  26. Have you come to grips with not being able to sit under the shade of your oaks?
  27. You reference Steve Jobs’s commencement quote to “connect the dots looking backwards.” How have you seen dots connect backwards in your own career and relationships?
  28. Have you ever been able to “predict the dots looking forward?”
  29. Why is it better for students not to overspecialize in just one sport or subject area too early before exploring multiple interests?
  30. What are the best tips that you learned from Barry Nalebuff about negotiating?
  31. General McChrystal wrote about managing risk under threat with military teams overseas. In what ways could civilians at home potentially benefit from applying his premortem strategy before embarking on risky projects?
  32. Sony shared camera platform revenue with lens developers like Tamron to dominate mirrorless camera markets. What lessons did you draw about the strategic value of open architectures from their cooperative strategy?
  33. Where do you think Stanley Andrisse found the hope and motivation over years in prison to earn his PhD and MD, helping others now?
  34. You cite forgettable Apple products. What was the core difference that allowed Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad to revolutionize computing?
  35. What motivates people like Gretchen Carlson and Tyler Schultz to take on, respectively, Fox and Theranos?
  36. Kathy Milkman explains how to disrupt patterns that make change hard. What techniques did you find most compelling to overcome the persistent barriers?
  37. What habits did BJ Fogg recommend you adopt in your own life related to tiny habits, and how effectively were you able to create automatic positive behaviors?
  38. How did humble beginnings like Derek Sivers’s $20 teenage pig show gig teach you important lessons about grabbing opportunities without feeling entitled or above menial work?
  39. You heap high praise on teachers in your book. What makes a remarkable teacher?
  40. What was your reaction when your father brushed off the assumption that you were the family gardener? How do you apply that lesson today about not taking things personally?
  41. Envy is usually considered a bad thing. But you not only admit to envying people; you claim it’s a good thing. What’s with that?
  42. What key lesson did Ludwig van Beethoven’s example give you about overcoming setbacks when you lost your own hearing and had to depend on transcription software?
  43. Why was Frederick Joseph’s guidance for constructively educating racially presumptuous people wiser than your dad’s advice to just ignore microaggressions?
  44. How has your definition of professional success evolved over time after key realizations about what truly matters in “keeping score”?
  45. Has imposter syndrome cropped up for you during your own career despite outward credentials and achievements?
  46. Why does imposter syndrome seem to affect women more than men?
  47. Why has maintaining a consistent, simple morning routine like your peanut butter banana toast breakfast been useful?
  48. What individual “inner critic” voices like Julia Cameron’s fictionalized Nigel most obstruct your own sustained productivity—and how do you now combat them?
  49. When has the early adoption diffusion curve played out noticeably in the uptake of your career?
  50. Why have Robert Cialdini’s classic universal principles of influence and persuasion proven so timeless and enduringly effective?
  51. What specific fulfillment did you derive from finally convincing Stacey Abrams to appear on your podcast after two years of pursuit that made it so worthwhile?
  52. What does “success oblige” mean?
  53. Which of Alan Luks’s specific principles and philosophies for optimizing helpful volunteer work most align with drivers behind your own varied community efforts over the years?
  54. Which of Daniel Pink’s commonly regretted life domains caused you to most reassess your own priorities after studying 19,000 people’s biggest regrets?
  55. When has moral outrage over perceived injustices fueled your most impassioned advocacy campaigns or protest organizing over your career?
  56. Could you share an example where a tech innovation was most successful by working backwards from user needs, versus fixating on showcasing technological capabilities first?
  57. What small customer service gestures—like the takeout taco place instantly replacing your missing order—have memorably won your lasting loyalty?
  58. Where beyond the initial eureka moment have you learned that making an idea tangible often poses greater challenges than sheer idea generation?
  59. Could you single out one especially pivotal insight that a past mentor figure gave you that profoundly impacted your subsequent path and perspectives?
  60. Who has been that one go-to person for your career who helped you fill gaps by offering complementary skill sets and expertise you lacked?
  61. Is it better to focus on making the right decision or making the decision right?
  62. How has Brené Brown’s extensive work on embracing vulnerability strongly influenced your own perspectives and choices despite associated risks?
  63. Why does the Japanese concept of ikigai seem to strongly resonate with so many of your podcast guests as their guiding purpose and life force?
  64. What is Guy’s ikigai?
  65. What are the different types of “asshole leaders”?
  66. What kind of asshole was Steve Jobs?
  67. Which other remarkable cross-disciplinary visionaries beyond Salman Khan left you feeling especially inspired by their stubborn commitment to realizing their dreams?
  68. How have you personally evolved in the area of setting smarter limits against overwhelming demands on your time and bandwidth over the decades?
  69. What tech innovations felt like breakthroughs while still grounded by enhancing recognizable products, versus chasing overly risky new category creation?
  70. How did John Conway’s chance friendship with Brandi Chastain randomly expand his horizons while powerfully demonstrating connections all around us?
  71. Why did Melanie Perkins’s perseverance through over 300 funding rejections ultimately pay off in validating the market potential she saw for Canva?
  72. In which surprising viral ways have your own creative works and ideas spread unexpectedly far beyond your original vision over the years?
  73. What still appeals to you about management thinker Tom Peters’s “managing by zooming around” ethos of frequent virtual connectivity in an increasingly remote work era?
  74. What made Olivia Julianna’s “optimizing the day” by swiftly fundraising off Congressman Gaetz’s insult so remarkable to you?
  75. What inspired you about Haben Girma’s public example dispelling assumptions about disabled people’s capabilities?
  76. How did you conduct a remote interview with a deaf-blind guest?
  77. Which of the globally pervasive regrets uncovered in Daniel Pink’s research surprised you most as prompts for personal reassessment when avoiding future regrets?
  78. Why does Stacey Abrams’s persistence despite tough losses initially make her remarkable grit and tenacity feel so inspirational to you?
  79. How does spiritual leader Mark Labberton’s guidance to first ask “how” instead of “why” in understanding opposing viewpoints strongly resonate with your own approach to tense debates?
  80. What are the key elements of a remarkable apology?
  81. Derek Sivers created one of the greatest marketing videos ever illustrating leadership emergence through a lone dancing guy persuading skeptical spectators. What originally drew you to this metaphor?
  82. What appeals to you about targeting niche subcategories where clear leaders haven’t yet emerged, versus chasing risky new broader markets?
  83. Why has seminal management thinker Tom Peters’s practical advice endured across fads for decades, in your view?
  84. Could you share an example of a time when moral outrage and indignation served as the emotional sparks igniting your most impassioned advocacy campaigns for change?
  85. You take inspiration from the surfing metaphor of “turning and burning” in regard to opportunities. How do you personally discern when it’s time to paddle hard all in?
  86. Why do you think Stacey Abrams’s advice for young people to “be curious, solve problems, and do good” is so powerful?
  87. Did any particular life regret domains uncovered in Daniel Pink’s global research stand out to you as prompts for personal reassessment and future priority calibration?
  88. Who was one Remarkable People podcast guest whose incredible life story felt exceptionally profound or inspirational beyond achievements, and what specific moments linger still today?
  89. Psychologist Geoffrey Cohen’s research showed “wise interventions” fostering belonging and self-worth far outperformed directly attacking mindsets. When have you seen that gentle approach succeed elsewhere?
  90. Whose frameworks related to habits, mindsets, or productivity still stick with and regularly inform your personal behaviors years later—fundamentally changing your mentality?
  91. Why does Japanese organizational culture extol genchi genbutsu for seeing operational realities in person? When has your own firsthand experience yielded pivotal insights that statistics failed to surface?
  92. What examples best clarify the crucial ethical line for you between strategic “punching up” to confront power versus unproductive ad hominem “punching down”?
  93. How do you think your varied career spanning startups, big tech, venture investing, and running your own company has most impacted your perspectives on drivers behind realizing remarkability?
  94. After so many insightful stories and hard-won wisdom across 200 pages, what’s the key overarching lesson or inspiration you most want readers to take away from Think Remarkable?
  95. What do you want to be remembered for?

Author Bios

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and host of the Remarkable People podcast. He was the chief evangelist of Apple, trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador, and special assistant to the Motorola Division of Google. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College. He lives in Watsonville, California.

Madisun Nuismer is the producer of the Remarkable People podcast. Nuismer has a BA in public health from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She also attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.