Reporters' Roundtable: Guy Kawasaki on what we learned from Steve Jobs

There are several life lessons in the way Steve Jobs started Apple, then left, came back, ran the company, launched products, and disrupted several industries. All of us in technology--or indeed in any business--can learn from them.

Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple and of Next Computer, and the CEO of Pixar, passed away this week. So for this Roundtable, we will start with that, and look forward from here. There are several life lessons in the way Steve Jobs started Apple, then left, came back, ran the company, launched products, and disrupted several industries. All of us in technology--or indeed in any business--can learn from them. The good and the bad.

To have that discussion, I can think of no better person to talk with than my guest for the Roundtable today, Guy Kawasaki.

Guy was an early employee at Apple, and he worked on marketing the original Macintosh in 1984. He's best known as a tireless tech evangelist. Still a venture capitalist at Garage Ventures, he brings that zeal to his portfolio companies. Guy is also a well-known speaker and the author of 10 books. His latest is Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. He has made his first book, The Macintosh Way, available as a free download (PDF link).

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Discussion points
Guy, you worked at Apple, with Jobs, from 1983 to 1987 and from 1995 to 1997. Tell us what that was like. (More here.)

Talk about the "Macintosh Spirit" you mentioned in your first resignation letter, and later wrote a book about. How does it apply to tech today? Is it just a romantic notion?

Let's talk about the lasting impact of Steve Jobs and Apple's success on tech and business. What lessons can people in our industry take from Steve's life?

Impact of adversity on a growing business and its CEO.

How about hiring? Anything special about how Jobs did it?

Salesmanship. Did it come naturally to Jobs? How much did he work on pitches? How important is that skill to an entrepreneur? How do you get good at it?

Let's talk about design, simplicity, and focus.

Does it work to have an "artist" as CEO vs. typical American management?

Innovator's dilemma: How to avoid it?

Why do entrepreneurs often say, "we're the next Airbnb of..." or "the next Flickr..." or even "the Google for..." but you never hear, "We're the next Apple...?"

The Big Lessons from Steve?

 

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