A Brief History of Mine


To build a case that you should give a shiitake about this blog, let me explain my background. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official during his long, distinguished career.

I attended Iolani School where I graduated in 1972. Iolani is not as well known as its rival, Punahou because no presidents of the U. S. went there, but I got a fantastic and formative education there. (Punahou is “USC,” and Iolani is “Stanford”—but I digress.) I pay special tribute to Harold Keables, my AP English teacher.He taught me that the key to writing is editing. No one in the universe would be more shocked that I have written eight books (or one book eight times) than Harold Keables.

After Iolani, I matriculated to Stanford; I graduated in 1976 with a major in psychology—which was the easiest major I could find. I loved Stanford. I sometimes wish I could go back in time to my undergraduate days “on the farm.”

After Stanford, I attended the law school at U.C. Davis because, like all Asian-American parents, my folks wanted me to be a “doctor, lawyer, or dentist.” I only lasted one week because I couldn’t deal with the law school teachers telling me that I was crap and that they were going to remake me.

The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; hence, my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell, and this skill was vital to my entire career.

I remained at Nova for a few years until the the Apple II removed the scales from my eyes. Then I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so.” I can’t live in a city where people call sushi “bait.”

Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple; for giving me my chance at Apple, I owe Mike a great debt. When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years I evangelized Macintosh to software and hardware developers and led the charge against world-wide domination by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple during this timeframe—Apple has been very good to me.

Around 1987, my job at Apple was done. Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. To this day, 4th Dimension remains a great database.

I ran ACIUS for two years and then left to pursue my bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting. I’ve written for Macuser, Macworld, and Forbes. I call these the “Wonder Years” as in “I wonder how I came to deserve such a good life.”

In 1989, I started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best co-founders in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. We created an email product called Emailer which we sold to Claris and then a list server product called LetterRip.

In 1995 I returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die. (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits.) My job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.

A couple years later, I left Apple to start an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 2.0 of Garage.com was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 of Garage.com is called Garage Technology Ventures; it is a venture capital firm and makes direct investments in early-stage technology companies.

Currently, I’m a founding partner at Garage and co-founder of Alltop as well as a husband, father, author, speaker, and hockey addict. Alltop is an online magazine rack that I hope you’ll check out—you’ll probably enjoy Innovation.alltop, for example. I’ve also written ten books. My latest is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. You can read about my other nine books here.

If you’d like to stay on top of my writing, the best places are the American Express Open Forum and Google+. You can also follow my adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

By |2016-10-24T14:29:49+00:00December 30th, 2005|Categories: Apple, Books|Tags: |66 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. Sam Michelson January 1, 2006 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    I’m glad you started a blog! Your speech was one of teh highlights of the AdTech show in Chicago this past summer! I like your no-nonsense approach to business. I think it has encouraged me as I build a small empire of cellular phone stores online!
    Wishing you success with the blog!
    sam michelson

  2. TechBlog January 1, 2006 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Make room for Guy

    Scoble spotted it first: Former Apple über-evangelist Guy Kawasaki is blogging. A book every two or three years is one thing, but a daily blog? (Not that I’m committing to daily blog.) However, many people pounded on me, so here…

  3. TechBlog January 1, 2006 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Make room for Guy

    Scoble spotted it first: Former Apple über-evangelist Guy Kawasaki is blogging. A book every two or three years is one thing, but a daily blog? (Not that I’m committing to daily blog.) However, many people pounded on me, so here…

  4. Netanel Jacobsson January 2, 2006 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Hi Guy! Welcome to the club.I am sure you have many intersting stories and experiences to share. Love your latest book.
    All the best,

  5. Jay Small January 2, 2006 at 8:17 am - Reply

    I was delighted to hear you’ve started blogging. It so happens I am rereading Rules for Revolutionaries — and I’m amazed at how many of the examples and recommendations seem to take on new life in the so-called Web 2.0 world.
    Looking forward to great things!

  6. julie70 January 2, 2006 at 8:47 am - Reply

    and you where a wonderfull evangelizer too! but I never liked the 4d so there our ways parted…
    As for who cares?
    It is not what you have been, it is what you put into the blog from now on and how much of yourself or your ideas are you ready to share with us!

  7. Melissa January 2, 2006 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Hello Guy and welcome!
    I wish you’d been at Apple during my stint with eWorld–perhaps all would be very different with the Internet today…

  8. Ian Goulet January 2, 2006 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the backgournd info – very appreciated.
    I’ve read your art of start book – it’s not bad, especially because it was authored by a venture capitalist.
    I say this because, although you started a couple of companies, I can’t help but wonder if you’ve ever had to raise a single red cent to fund them. 😉
    As you know, raising funds is at the core of founding a startup – have you ever raised venture capital for any of your own companies, or was it all funded by apple cash-out money?
    I’m hoping you will be candid with us!! 🙂

  9. Pierre Little January 2, 2006 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    There is a problem with your url link to Garage.com. I think its got a coma in the lookup….
    Great site…Glad to see you are doing well. When I started selling Macs in 1992 I read most of your evangelist articles. Thanks for your enthusiasm.
    God Bless..

  10. medmusings January 2, 2006 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    links for 2006-01-03

    “Let the Good Times Roll” Guy Kawasaki’s new blog: A Brief History of Mine (tags: GuyKawasaki) Top of the Class : How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers–and How You Can Too: Book by Soo Kim Abboud,Jane Y. Kim: Enoch: this is really dumb. fulfilment c…

  11. Russell Page January 3, 2006 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Guy Kawasaki blog

    Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology ventures and long-time Apple man has started a blog.
    Interesting. With all the fame and Bay Area connection, Garage still picked a Utah web design firm to do its web site.
    A brief history o…

  12. Eddie January 5, 2006 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Like the blog, but your comment about Atlanta and its residents is a lame and quite untrue stereotype. You’re smarter than that. Get a different line.

  13. kathleen ream January 10, 2006 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Guy’s in the game

    On December 30, 2005, one of my heros, Guy Kawasaki, joined the ranks of bloggers. He’s a revolutionary at heart, so it will be really interesting to see how his commentary shapes up and how he turns the whole thing…

  14. Richwell January 17, 2006 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Quite interesting blog. I read about the purposed downfall of Apple and i am glad its now valued even more than Pundits like Dell, who once predicted its demise. I am yet to read your books though but i wonder how i could access your speeches and evangelism brochures while u were still at Apple

  15. Richwell Phinias January 17, 2006 at 3:47 am - Reply

    By the way i am from Zimbabwe in Africa and success stories of American ICT companies are amking us go wild with technology here.

  16. World business for sale January 18, 2006 at 11:09 am - Reply

    This is a great post!
    We would be honored if we could be added to this great blog. We are from the World Business for sale is the leading independent businesses for sale listing service http://www.worldbusinessforsale.com/
    Good work keeps it up!

  17. Ved April 14, 2006 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Now, I’ve to read your book! Good reviews at Amazon.com. Keep sharing your thoughts.

  18. Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog June 19, 2006 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Brand Architecture: The Mac is Back

    It appears as though Apple is moving towards a revised Mac-orientated masterbrand (also spelled master brand) architecture with its new brand names starting with Mac. I agree with this new nomenclature. The PowerBook G4 laptop now sports …

  19. Robin Good's Latest News September 11, 2006 at 2:01 am - Reply

    How To Be Successful: Stephen Downes’ Top Ten Rules

    by Stephen Downes Guy Kawasaki last week wrote an item describing “ten things you should learn this school year” in which readers were advised to learn how to write five sentence emails, create PowerPoint slides, and survive boring meetings. It…

  20. Daniel Higginbotham September 17, 2006 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Mr. Kawasaki,
    Thanks for your awesome blog! I love reading your articles and watching your videos – you always seem so happy, and it’s very inspiring.
    I was very happy to find this article and learn that you were raised in Hawaii. You definitely have that aloha spirit that is so wonderful to encounter – thank you for sharing it!

  21. Jasmine September 18, 2006 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Hey, thanks for posting this information about yourself. I’ve been reading your work for probly 20 years, but never knew anything about you. Keep up the good work!

  22. Christopher Carey September 20, 2006 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    This is so strange I have been reading Guy’s stuff for so many years. How strange I feel reunited with the king of Mac Cult. I am thankful for all that Guy has done to the Apple community, if not for his insightful writing the faithful might have lost the faith in Apple’s darkest hour. I hope my website can live up to the content that Guy will write here. http://www.noheat.com

  23. Michael E. Cantone September 21, 2006 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Looking at you I could not for the life of me, because I was not doing the math, figure out why you were calling your self old. It was not until today when I read your “Brief History…’ that I saw the year you where born.
    I recently came up with a great idea that could help change the world and has everything to do with and involves the latest technologies. I am a student at UMass Boston a junior that procrastinated till the last minute and now I need to foucus on getting my degree instead of working on my idea.
    I knew who you were before looking for tools to start the business and for what ever it’s worth, bought “Business Plan Pro 2006”. Why? Your name was on the box and your book that I saw you outline online, “The Art of the Start” was in it.
    I failed a class last semester that I’m now taking over again which was accounting. The “F” had a devastating affect on me but you have brought me back up. I have a vague product model for my idea but someone will snatch it up before I can bring this product to life.
    Would love to hear from you!
    Thanks in advance
    Thanks for your kind words. Glad to hear that Art is helping!

  24. Alexander Muse October 3, 2006 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Your work has been an inspiration to me for years and now with your blog I get a weekly dose of that inspiration. Thanks!

  25. Greg Tracy October 28, 2006 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Guy- Glad you’re blogging, giving us all some of your preachin’ teachin’…

  26. Rajan Sodhi November 5, 2006 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Guy, just want to drop a quick note to say how much I enjoy your blog. Your blog was one of the few that inspired me to start my own – an activity I thoroughly enjoy and a chance to talk about what I’m passionate about. By the way, you mentioned you’re a big hockey fan, me too. Whose your team? Didn’t catch it in your bio. Go Canucks go!
    Thanks! You’re very kind. I like the Sharks, Flames, and Hurricanes!

  27. Wendee November 7, 2006 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Punahou=USC and Iolani=Stanford? Oh-ho… I see how it is.
    ILH rivalries aside … I’m looking forward to keeping up with your blog. Cheers.

  28. Darren Lee November 27, 2006 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Really cool life story you have. I find it motivational and inspirational to some of us here. Can’t wait to achieve a great success like you did.
    All the way from Asia,
    Darren Lee

  29. Dev November 27, 2006 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    I am very much impress by your writing and your mantra.
    God bless you.

  30. LUX.ET.UMBRA November 29, 2006 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Dreams of being a VC? Take the VCAT

    Guy Kawasaki, a VC with Garage Technology Ventures, has a great thing on young people trying to get into the venture business. It actually reminded me back when I first started in information technology. You would be amazed how many…

  31. milo317 November 30, 2006 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Wow, i’m impressed.

  32. Foxsu December 1, 2006 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Thank you for your sharing.I have learned much from your articles.

  33. piritei yabefa December 7, 2006 at 6:02 am - Reply

    i have had the histroy of your life weder good or bad i am very very impress of your present situation thanks

  34. Tekpooler December 11, 2006 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    And then Microsoft came and destroyed the egoistic Steve Jobs and smashed his apples to pieces

  35. Gerard Kennedy December 13, 2006 at 3:59 am - Reply

    This blog posting was of great use in learning new information and also in exchanging our views. Thank you Guy!
    Hope this helps someone: http://findsource.org

  36. Teesside Website Design December 24, 2006 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Hey Guy,
    Really great blog you have going!
    We’re thinking of starting up on our own, would you recommend going down the venture capitalist route or dig our the cash ourselves?
    We have heard they take a big chunk of profits when you get going?
    From the guys at TWD!

  37. garry guitguiten December 25, 2006 at 2:36 am - Reply

    i would not comment related to your job.what i would like to say is how do you handle being a hawaiian. my relatives resides in hawaii also in nohili st.,honululu and i will also vist there anytime.

  38. Mark December 31, 2006 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Hi Guy
    Interesting reading, i have started a few companies myself, now work for http://www.indigoshop.co.uk

  39. Avianu January 5, 2007 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Guy, It will be great to hear what were the most valuable sales lessons you learnt? Corporate Sales training programs teach you how to be “professional and fair”. Real life shows different…
    What mindset do you need to sell?

  40. Letha January 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Dear Guy
    Thanks for your kindness and courage. You mentioned you are interested to hear what we think you ought to write about. With your background in business, startups, and the Net – why not a book on how the new media will replace the old – i.e., print, TV, etc. Those folks are shaking in their boots, but still kicking.
    My experience with book publishers is that they can hardly get to first base with sales. They too often have limited vision. I even had to fight with one publisher to include people of color in my health and beauty books. Racism lives: Hard to imagine but true.
    On the Net, we are a huge swaying ocean of lights, spirits, and ideas. Thanks for your guidance.
    Letha Hadady

  41. Praveen Lohani January 9, 2007 at 2:08 am - Reply

    Your Blog has always been interesting, it is a surprise how can you have unattended and unresponded Linkedin invites.
    Praveen Lohani

  42. Tal Rosenberger January 10, 2007 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed your site very much.
    Feel free to join my networks
    LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talro, openBC, ecademy, Plaxo, AOL, ICQ…
    You can also find me in Skype talrosen, MSN / Windows Live Messenger / Yahoo talrosenberger@hotmail.com, GoogleTalk tal.rosenberger@gmail.com

  43. OpenAsthra January 13, 2007 at 3:41 am - Reply

    It is a wonderful blog. Could you please add my c/c++ blog (http://www.openasthra.com) in your network.

  44. Tony Bright January 16, 2007 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    You have a Great Blog and I enjoyed reading your background.
    D. Anthony Bright / CEO

  45. Idea Sandbox Blog January 17, 2007 at 9:09 am - Reply

    How to Be Different: “Create A Contagion”

    The crux of Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is about turning ideas into action! In chapter 9, “The Art of Branding,” Guy offers advice on how to create a remarkable produc…

  46. Joachim Simon January 18, 2007 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Dear Guy,
    thanks for your freshness and for your encouragement to be different.
    I have just left my old fixed job behind me and start my own business right now as a Specialist for International Team Development on Strategy, Structure and Culture.
    What you say is very supportive to me.
    Greetings from Cologne, Germany

  47. Steven Burda, MBA February 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hmmmm… interesting!
    – Steven Burda, MBA

  48. JDsBlog February 23, 2007 at 6:38 am - Reply

    10 Lies VCs Know You Are Telling

    There are some things you say to a potential investor, and some things you dont. By investor, I mean anyone who you are looking for help from.
    This includes, banks, consultants, advisors, and even potential partners and employees.
    Guy Kawasaki w…

  49. Izzy February 27, 2007 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I saw you at CommunityNext and your panel was great!!! Thanks for all the inspiration! 🙂

  50. Herdian March 9, 2007 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Hello Guy,
    Just read, “A Brief History Of Mine”.. I’m glad I found your blog. I love the part where you stated that all Asian American parents want their kids to either be lawyers, doctors and dentists.. That is very true, as it not only apply to Asian American parents but basically applies to the majority of Asian parents worldwide:-) My extended family all share the same notion and belief that if you’ve succeeded in any one of those proffesions, you are the king of the world:-) I reside in Jakarta, Indonesia by the way.
    Well, thanks again for the inspiration.

  51. Jorge Juan Fernández March 24, 2007 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Guy Kawasaki, The Art of the Start

    Este video es un must. Todo lo que dice Guy Kawasaki es increiblemente interesante y útil. GK (http://www.guykawasaki.com/) es actualmente inversor de capital riesgo (Garage Technology Ventures), aunque su fama le viene por su pasado como el más famoso…

  52. Joy Casey April 6, 2007 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Dear Guy,
    I found you twice in the last couple of days. The first time was when I read a business article (forget which one) and saw something about LinkedIn and clicked on it and saw your before and after profile.
    The second time I found you was today when I went to Iinnovatecast.com and saw a link for your site listed.
    For the sake of your readers, I will mention that Iinnovatecast.com is a great website hosted by several Stanford University Business students. They have a podcast show that I had subscribed to on iTunes that interviews recognized innovators such as the CEO of Google, the founder of Craigslist and more.
    I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and to learn as much as I can from you through reading your blog posts and books. I love your site!

  53. ScottPot May 5, 2007 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    How To Change The World With The Guy Kawasaki Golden Touch

    Thanks to Tony (SiteProPlus) over at BlogCatalog, I was notified of a great video regarding some key blog tips from the all mighty evangelist, Guy Kawasaki. Take it from me, this is one Guy that you should definitely give a shiitake about. Guy is an …

  54. Hong Kong Chris June 19, 2007 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    I am reading your great blog already for two years. I like the way you’re writing!
    Keep Rockin!
    Best regards from Hong Kong!

  55. hermo malaguit June 19, 2007 at 8:27 am - Reply

    hi guy,
    we haven’t met yet , i just saw you in the internet and i’m quite impressed with your background, let’s cut to the chase, i an an inventor of a revolutionary, unique, water- activated deodorant that when applied by a person correctly, that person would no develop body odor , no matter how much he sweats for 3 days. now you know there’s no deodorant in the market right know that can do that. only i can, my invention is patent pending, but i am looking for people like you to promote it and make lots of money along the way.. are you with me. if you don’t believe me or a little bit skeptic of my claim. in will sen send you a little sample to try and evaluate to your satisfaction. no to get the ball rolling , let me know if you want the sample and i will mail it to you=, just give em the address where to send it. just to let you know the deodorant market in north america alone is approximately $ 2.4 billion , are you ready to plant a stank w/ our company. visit my website at www.coolprotectant.com and get more info. i know you are a nice guy, pls give me a chance to show you my innovative invention. thanks in advance.
    hermo malaguit- ceo/inventor

  56. Chris Abraham - Because the Medium is the Message June 23, 2007 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Online Field Marketing

    “Mark and I were on a client call yesterday morning with a VP of Marketing who called what we do “field marketing,” popularly defined as “connecting with existing and prospective customers through non-mainstream media methods, grassroots marketing is a…

  57. change:healthcare July 8, 2007 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    The story of our story

    yeah, another Guy K article, but this is a question pointed to the c:h team -which one sounds like the story line we are telling and does that sync with the story line that we should be telling about change:healthcare?
    Read the full post here, and the …

  58. Aronil July 9, 2007 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Hello there Guy,
    Hailing you from somewhere down east (M’sia), I’m glad to have finally stumbled upon your blog. And I’m definately going to keep you in my list. I haven’t read the whole of your book, but hehe my bf did ‘evangelized’ to me your stories, and those have stuck with me. Keep on writing and peace out!

  59. Chris Abraham - Because the Medium is the Message July 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Online Field Marketing

    Mark and I were on a client call yesterday morning with a VP of Marketing who called what we do “field marketing,” popularly defined as “connecting with existing and prospective customers through non-mainstream media methods, grassroots marketing is al…

  60. Seth July 28, 2007 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    “After Stanford, I attended the law school at UC Davis because, like all Asian American parents, my folks wanted me to be a ‘doctor, lawyer, or dentist.'”
    I think Jews and Asians could start a support group around this. You know, we’ll secretly act out our fantasies as construction workers and fireman, while pretending our parents look on in horror.
    Really though, love the blog…and the ipod belt!
    I hear you. I want to play professional hockey. All that’s holding me back is that I can’t skate, shoot, or pass.

  61. Ryan Ware August 8, 2007 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Guy, thanks for the great Keynote in Boston back in July. I really enjoyed it. Can you send me the presentation?

  62. kealoha August 11, 2007 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Your website & posts are very interesting to read, so I’ll forgive you for comparing Punahou to USC! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your insight and experience with the web community- your perspective on self-branding was especially useful, and I’ll pass it on to my arts promotion classmates.

  63. dharma August 17, 2007 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Very inspiring blog and bio, you are a great inspiration for budding entrepreneurs like me and thousand of others who visit your blog everyday looking for inspiration.

  64. ModernMagellans August 27, 2007 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    What Did You Learn From Your First Job? – Basics

    There is a good chance that you were not a manager at your first job. The job I want to focus on is the first job you got where you did not work for family. You may have been a…

  65. Idea Sandbox Blog October 30, 2007 at 5:44 am - Reply

    How to Be Different: “Create A Contagion”

    The crux of Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is about turning ideas into action! In chapter 9, “The Art of Branding,” Guy offers advice on how to create a remarkable produc…

  66. Jorge Juan Fernández December 12, 2007 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Entrepreneurship: 4 libros que merecen mucho la pena

    El tema de fomentar las iniciativas emprendedoras está a tope últimamente. Dejo aquí los cuatro recursos más interesantes que he encontrado al respecto. 1. “The Art of the Start”, Guy Kawasaki (225 páginas) Guy Kawasaki es actualmente inversor de capit…

Leave A Comment