INNOVATION HUB
9:50 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Future of Tech with Guy Kawasaki

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Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist for Apple and special adviser at Google, says success in Silicon Valley often requires a special ingredient: luck.
Credit Ben Sparks / Wikimedia Commons

Guests:

When it comes to new technology, Guy Kawasaki is ahead of the curve. Former Chief Evangelist at Apple and now special adviser to Google in their Motorola division, Kawasaki has long been a Silicon Valley insider. "You can't buy me, but you can rent me," he quips.

This week, Kawasaki tells us what he sees ahead for tech. And with legions of followers on Google+ and Twitter, his predictions  carry a lot of weight. 

An example of Kawasaki's personal approach to self-branding: here he unboxes a Motorola X in a video filmed by his son.

Recently, Kawasaki made a splash in the tech community when he filmed the slow-motion unboxing of a Motorola X cell phone before its release, complete with techno music and camera work from his young son - a video which quickly garnered thousands of views. Kawasaki's unboxing video is a good introduction to his personal approach to marketing and self-branding. A fixture on social media sites, Kawasaki says he spends two or three hours a day "trying to find good stuff to post" to engage with his fan base.

It's a strategy he has also applied to the publishing industry in one of his newest books, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, which encourages aspiring authors to build up their own brand publish their own work outside of the conventional publishing industry. Technology, he says, has broken down barriers in industries once rigidly guarded by gatekeepers. "They're certainly not as powerful as before," he says.

Guy Kawasaki, a proponent of self-publishing, says technology is making many industries like book publishing more accessible.
Credit gpoo / Flickr Creative Commons

So does Kawasaki have a secret formula for predicting what new technology will be a smash hit? Not quite. He points out that the sites we now see as giants on the Internet did not seem at the outset to be obviously destined for success. He says he expressed skepticism at Twitter when it was first released ("Why would I want to send out a 140 character text message that my cat rolled over?") and disbelief that some models, like eBay, have endured for as long as they have: "This was a company that enabled people to buy used HP printers online."

When it comes down to it, predicting the "next big thing" in tech can't be boiled down to the best business plans or market analysis. "The more I live in Silicon Valley, the more I'm convinced it's better to be lucky than to be smart," he says. 

To hear more from Guy Kawasaki on the future of tech - including his belief in the power of self-publishing and his favorite social network, Google+ - tune in to our full interview above.

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