Guy Kawasaki Discusses How to be Enchanting

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Fortune Senior Editor-at-Large Adam Lashinsky has a new interview on the magazine’s web site in which he talks to Guy Kawasaki about the former Apple executive’s new book, Enchantment. The discussion naturally revolves mostly around Apple, of whom Mr. Kawasaki says: “If you’re enchanted by Apple, you’ve bought an iPhone, an iPad, you’ve bought one, you’ve bought two, you’re standing in line.”

He describes enchantment as a “mutually beneficial relationship” for the company and a customer. He compares that to a company like Dell, noting that if you buy a laptop from them, it’s merely a transaction, a one-sided relationship.

Mr. Lashinsky asks about one of Mr. Kawasaki’s keys to enchainment, which is likability, and wonders if Apple has that quality, given the perception of CEO Steve Jobs’ personality in the industry. “For most people, Apple is the person at the Genius Bar, not Steve Jobs,” Mr. Kawasaki replies. He goes on to note that “on stage, Steve Jobs is an enchanting person. You may not like negotiating with him, though.”

Which leads to what Mr. Lashinsky calls “the $100 billion question: Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?” Mr. Kawasaki says he doesn’t know. On one hand, he says, Mr. Jobs’ DNA is so deeply imprinted in the company that it knows what to do without him; on the other hand, he likened Mr. Jobs to a father figure, and “if Dad leaves the family, all the kids will fight. Right now, Steve Jobs is there to tell people what to do.”

You may want to stick around for Mr. Lashinsky’s next interview, in which former Lala CEO, and current Color CEO, Bill Nguyen discusses why Apple bought Lala. While Lala did music streaming and Apple doesn’t have such a service, Mr. Nguyen makes the case that Apple bought Lala for the people, not the technology. Of course, if Apple is working on technology involving Lala’s intellectual property, Mr. Nguyen is very likely legally prohibited from discussing it by whatever contracts he signed when his company was bought.

Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It’s a bit unfortunate that when Guy uses Apple to anchor his message, he gets a little weighed down by it. Because Enchantment is really a great book for ordinary people and it finally gets down to what Guy’s secret sauce is for being Guy. I had the pleasure of beta testing a manuscript last fall, and a few printouts have served as a checklist for products and projects since. I especially like that he’s taken a few of the best things from Robert Cialdini (“Influence”) and mixed them into his own word (“enchantment”). There is seriousness under Guy’s schtick.

The most important thing you can learn from Guy, though more by example than by explicit teaching, is to deconstruct the bullshit. If you sense that something is BS, it probably is. Go with the extreme opposite and see how that compares. If it works out for you, you’ve probably identified real BS and you’ve probably found its key flaws. You can see this process working with Guy’s 10/20/30 tip for PowerPoint presos, his tips on using Twitter, and his admonitions about email—all three of which are in this book.

john Dingler, artist

Since “the principles that (successfully) guide the company today were always there, even in the darkest times of the mid-90s (when it was guided unsuccessfully)...,” then the same principle which Kawasaki says made Apple unsuccessful previously also is making it successful now.

Therefore, it must not be the principle itself that determines its level of success or un-success; It must be something else besides the principle.

Based K’s article, this means that the principle, on which his theory is based, seems invalid.

Whichever principle guides Apple now toward success is the one that works for it now. As Apple’s corporate conditions change for whatever reason, some other principle maybe applicable. A guiding principle that works for a particular historical time or situation may or may not work for some other company during the same time and situation.

If K. uses the same principle—thinking that it can be transferred—, and if his company is successful, then it works for his company. However, there I see no proof that the principle is automatically transferable to non-Apple companies such as Kawasaki’s to achieve the same level of success or un-success.

Just glad that Apple is successful now, and I love its products.

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