The best charts I’ve ever seen

Check out these charts by Karl Hartig. My favorite is the consumer electronics one. It shows how long it took consumers to adopt electronic stuff. I used it in my book called Rules for Revolutionaries. I’ve been trying to find it ever since, and my buddy Bryan came through today.

Written at: Palo Alto, California.

By | 2015-03-18T08:08:26+00:00 January 19th, 2006|Categories: Books, Cool Stuff|Tags: |21 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. C. Enrique Ortiz January 19, 2006 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Hey Guy, it would be awesome that have a “printer friendly page” option for your blog entries… There are times would be great to print and take for the road…

  2. Creative One January 19, 2006 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    This is someone who has nothing to do, questioning who has much to say. The charts looked great. One question thou, what responsibility does evangelists have? And do evangelists have to work overtime. And what classes do I have to take in order for me to become an evangelist…..GK, I really enjoyed reading your blog.

  3. Gary January 19, 2006 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I love these! Are you familiar with the work of Edward Tufte? He wrote the definitive book(s) on information graphics design.

  4. Sort's Feed January 19, 2006 at 8:14 pm - Reply


    Charts, diagrams and data visualization by Karl Hartig. Beautiful work. Who is he? I don’t know. Refreshingly, there’s no information about him on his website. Guy Kawasaki, who pointed to this site in his post today, used one of the

  5. Jesse Krieger January 19, 2006 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    These really are fascinating charts! It would be interesting to see the Music Industry chart expanded out to the present to reflect the introduction and triple digit adoption of digital as a music distribution means.
    Any leads on that?

  6. Greg M January 19, 2006 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Great charts it shows the link between technology and the economy and vice versa!!
    Tell Brian thanx!

  7. Scott Stirling January 20, 2006 at 6:40 am - Reply

    I was going to say, these charts look influenced by or highly convergent with the charting design principles and observations in Edward Tufte’s ( “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” and other books. Awesome charts.

  8. Dean Johnson January 20, 2006 at 7:04 am - Reply

    I agree with the preceding Tufte comment. That was my first thought.
    Some of the graphs have embellishments that are quite distracting and in some respects deceptive.
    Any example of the simply distracting is the Immigration graph having the shadows. I realize that it looks cool and might even be more compelling, but its damn distracting.
    Any example of the mildly deceptive is the US Population changes graph. The fact that the peaks and valleys are a principle conveyer of intuitive information, choosing the sliced in look for the grid points was a really bad idea. Simple lines would have sufficed. My first blush thought was that every decade there is a curious sudden drop and recovery. Almost looks like missing data.
    Then again, after reading Tufte’s books, I am very intolerent of such chart junk.

  9. Doug Hanna January 20, 2006 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Those look pretty cool. Good find.

  10. Kishore January 20, 2006 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Your blog is very informative to people who have aspirations in line with what you have acheived. You are covering many topics of which some are not even given enough thought.
    However, I wish you cover the following and put out a tree that shows how different promising tech areas are progressing. Kind of like Wireless, Cable, Video, VoIP, mulitmedia gaming, storage etc., give your perspective at what rate each area is progressing in the ROI terms. Similar what you or VC world think each area will be say 5 years from now given the experience you have with successful and failures technologies. I know it is a long topic can you atleast throw some links which give a snapshot of emerging techonologies. This I think will be very helpful for many readers.

  11. Weblog January 20, 2006 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Amazing Charts

    Karl Hartig makes some amazing charts. Anyone who’s a follower of Edward Tufte (and anyone who does anything with data should be), will see these for the artwork that they are. (via Guy Kawasaki)
    By the way, to continue my unsolicited plug of Edwar…

  12. Anecdote January 20, 2006 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Data Visualization

    Ever since reading Edward Tuftes book Envisioning Information way back when Ive been fascinated with how to best present complex information. So today I made a great find, a set of 12 charts byKarl Hartig. Each one can be down…

  13. Robert Steers January 21, 2006 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I love these charts. It would be great to have some of them updated…..

  14. Curious Cat Management Improvement January 22, 2006 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Great Charts

    Karl Hartig displays some excellent charts that he created (for the Wall Street Journal) on his web site. The charts seem to be influenced by Edward Tufte’s ideas.
    Rarely do I see charts that do such a good job of visually displaying data. The lack…

  15. David Locke January 22, 2006 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Tufte gave rise to critique. He didn’t design anything.
    Information design was old before Tufte came along, so Tufte gets way too much credit.
    Try “Soak Wash Rinse Spin: Tolleson Design.”
    The request for more discussion of technologies miss the point. The deal mat

  16. David Locke January 22, 2006 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    The technology is less important in a pitch than the deal.
    The place to look for the information you are seeking is Gartner’s Hype Cycle.

  17. Matthew Wilder January 23, 2006 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I am a geek, or at least I guy who loves numbers, and I absolutely love those charts. I really love that population chart in 3d. It is truly incredible! Thanks for sharing this great find with us, Guy!

  18. January 27, 2006 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Data Visualisation Examples the Music Industry

    Here are some great examples of data visualisation from Karl Hartig (via Guy Kawasaki. Some of the charts are a little dated and I cant help  but wonder what the music industry chart would look like now? You can almost picture it. Here is a sta…

  19. arjun October 20, 2006 at 7:58 am - Reply

    I constantly read your clauses articles , they are very interesting to me!Please be more exact much at you it is written discrepancies!

  20. Beevers November 1, 2006 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I with you certainly agree, though much seems to me not absolutely correctly, With pleasure I shall visit once again, I hope you will add to told.

  21. June 8, 2007 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Guy Kawasaki: Great charts

    Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. where he was one of the individuals responsibl…

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