Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing Guy Kawasaki speak at the University of Oregon. Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an online magazine rack of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at an angel investor matchmaking service named Garage Technology Ventures. He is the previous chief evangelist of Apple and an author of ten books including Enchantment, a New York Times best seller.
Kawasaki came to speak at the University of Oregon for the Center on Diversity and Community’s (CoDaC) 10th Anniversary “Unscripting Diversity” lecture series. CoDaC is a multicultural organization at the university focusing on further developing multicultural curriculum, mediation/conflict resolution, and student affairs. Kawasaki was the perfect candidate to celebrate 10 years of engaging challenge and building community at the University of Oregon for he is an internationally lauded entrepreneur with a multicultural background.
An uproar of hand clapping and cheers filled the EMU ballroom when Kawasaki stepped on stage. His presence on stage was vibrant and when he began to speak, you could hear the genuine emotion in his voice that he was glad to be there. He started off his lecture with a picture of himself in a University of Oregon hockey jersey. The story behind the picture is that Kawasaki and his son are avid hockey fans and wanted to buy an University of Oregon hockey jersey. University of Oregon is widely known for their great jersey designs, thanks to Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman of Nike, Inc, whom attended the University of Oregon as an undergraduate. Unable to obtain the jersey online, Kawasaki contacted the university to find out if there was anyway he could buy their hockey jerseys. They came upon an agreement that if he came to speak at the University of Oregon, they would gift him a hockey jersey. As laughter filled the ballroom, he joked that “if it weren’t for that hockey jersey, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Kawasaki’s lecture continued as he started to describe what enchantment meant. Enchantment is the art of changing hearts, minds, and actions. If you want to change the world, you have to be enchanting. In order to reach enchantment in Kawasaki’s eyes, you have to:
1. Achieve likability
- If you want to be liked, you have to like and accept others.
- Always default to yes. Think about how you can help the person you just met. Don’t think about what this person is trying to make you do. Most people have a lot of class and won’t ask you to do inappropriate things.
- Always smile genuinely — This is called the Duchanne smile. I noticed this throughout his lecture; Kawasaki was always smiling genuinely when he spoke.
2. Achieve trustworthiness
- Trust others before they trust you. Great examples of companies that follow this motto are Amazon and Nordstrom. Books you purchase from the Amazon Kindle store are eligible for return with full refund within seven days of the date of purchase. That is a generous amount of trust in their customers for many customers can download multiple books from Amazon and read them within a week. Nordstrom has a great return policy. Kawasaki joked that “you can return a tire to Nordstrom and get a full refund.” For those who don’t know, Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires.
- Be the baker, not the eater. When a baker sees a pie, s/he wants to make more pies but when an eater sees a pie, s/he wants to eat as much of that pie as possible. If you are a baker, you will do things for people and they will thank you.
- Find a common ground with people in order to solve a problem.
3. Perfect your product with service
- Deep: Have lots of features.
- Intelligent: Figure out any problems a customer may encounter and solve it ahead of time.
- Complete: The totality of everything. A great product has a great support system (e.g. customer and technology support).
- Empowering: Make your consumer feel creative and productive.
- Elegant: Show that someone cared about the user interface design.
- Tell a great story. For example, you can’t see your parents as often as you’d like to so you created an online photo sharing site.
- Plant many seeds. Put your product out there so that anyone can find you.
- Use salient points. Instead of stating how many calories there are in a serving of your product, state how many miles you have to run to burn to the calories.
- Break down resistance and provide social proof. Many refer white earbuds with iPods. You are more likely to buy an iPod when you see white earbuds everywhere. You break down the resistance by buying an iPod and now there are more white earbuds and iPods.
- Use a data set to change a mind set.
- Enchant all influencers. In order to influence Kawasaki, you have to get through to his daughter first.
- The Grateful Dead have been endured for decades. They have an area set aside in every concert stadium for concert-goers to pirate the concert. They do so by encouraging fans to share the concert with others.
- Build an ecosystem. Resellers, online special interest groups, developers… the list goes on. Make an ecosystem to make your product better.
- Invoke reciprocation. Be enchanting and do something for someone; you will be surprised how many people will repay you.
- Be able to speak. Customize the introduction so you know exactly where you are and who you’re talking to. The first few minutes is key. Kawasaki used his own advice by introducing us with a picture of himself in a University of Oregon hockey jersey.
- Sell your dream. If you are selling a car, don’t use words like ‘fast’ because your competitor will probably say the same. Think outside the box and use words that make your product stand out.
8. Use technology
- Technology is optimal for marketing. It is fast, free, and ubiquitous. Use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ to gain recognition. It’s fast, free, and everyone is using it. Remember to provide value, information, and insights in your social media accounts and engage fast. If you don’t respond in 2-3 hours to a social media mention, you are done in the social media world. Also, post frequently.
- Remove speed bumps like CAPTCHA, a challenge-response test that ensures the response is generated by a person and not a computer, in order to register for your site.
9. Enchant up
- When your boss asks you to do something, drop everything you’re doing and do it.
- Prototype fast: It’s tangible proof that you dropped everything by coming right back. By coming back fast, you also have more time to edit and get better results.
- Deliver bad news early. The faster you deliver bad news, the more opportunity you have to fix things.
10. Enchant down
- Enchant people who work for you.
- Empower action. Trust people that they will do their job.
- Be willing to do the dirty job.
Kawasaki holds one of those rare voices that exudes stamina, power, and depth. His good-natured vibe, cheerfulness, and great smile made him engaging and exciting to listen to. I wish more of my professors were as engaging as him! I was lucky enough to meet him after his lecture — Notice we are both rocking the Duchenne smile.