Guy Kawasaki: The first marketing evangelist

Written by Frank Calviño

Guy Kawasaki is not new to the world of technology. In 1984 he was one of the Apple employees originally in charge of marketing their Macintosh computer line. And for more than five years, Kawasaki was the main “evangelist” for Apple. In fact, he invented the terminology “marketing evangelist” and was its biggest and most prominent defender, writing more than a dozen books on the matter, and giving lectures and presentations worldwide.

The truth is that Kawasaki’s biggest success was also his biggest mistake. The hype he generated during his years leading Apple’s marketing effort, lead him to believe that he alone could build a software company from zero, and thus, the brilliant marketing evangelist, left Apple and went “solo” in a difficult mission to create a new billionaire technology company. He failed.

But even so, in his failure Kawasaki also thrived. After trying to defeat Apple by leading the French software firm ACIUS from 1987 to 1989, this American Silicon Valley adventurer threw in the towel and retired from the active marketing world to further his writing and speaking career. In the early 1990s he wrote columns that were featured in Forbes and MacUser magazines, thus becoming an international authority on technology marketing. He also founded another company, Fog City Software, which created Emailer, an email client that was successfully sold to Claris.

Many years after he left Apple, when he was already considered a global guru of the technology marketing and “evangelist” sales system, he returned to Apple. In 1995 Kawasaki was invited to the program Apple Fellow, a reunion of Apple’s most important executives since the beginning of the company, thus receiving the praise of the entire Silicon Valley industry.

This gave him the required industry support to co-found Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm that has made investments in Pandora Radio, Tripwire, The Motley Fool and D.light Design. Later he also founded Truemors, a free-flow rumor mill that was sold to NowPublic.

In March 2013 Kawasaki announced he would be joining Google as an advisor to Motorola. His role was to create a Google+ mobile device community. And on March 24, 2015, the Wikimedia Foundation announced Kawasaki had joined the foundation’s board of trustees, consolidating him in the unofficial “Hall of Fame” of the internet entrepreneurs.

For his constant commitment to efficiency, for developing effective and radical new ways to sell technology and approach the technology market, and for being one of the most prolific internet and technology entrepreneurs, Guy Kawasaki is an example of Total Quality Culture and relentless pursuit of excellence.

About the author

Frank Calviño

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