Guy’s On A Mission To Do

Every Sunday The New York Times Business section profiles an exec in its “Corner Office” series. Today the exec is Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of the Alltop news aggregation site and a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures.
image courtesy of Flickr user, Thomas Hawk
There are two areas that Kawasaki covers that I’d like to share with you here. The first is about how a company instills a sense of mission in its brand and its workforce.

The foundation is the desire to make meaning in the world — to make the world a better place. We believed in the Mac division that we were making the world a better place by making people more creative and productive. Google, at its core, probably believes it’s making the world a better place by democratizing information. So it starts from this core of how you make meaning, which translates into some kind of physical product or service that actually delivers.

In my opinion, this is one of the main problems with the agency business today. There’s no sense of mission beyond making money. But there could be…
Kawasaki also addresses the problem with consulting.

So the problem with consulting is you get paid $400 an hour, you do your beautiful charts, you make your PowerPoint presentation, you tell the client what they should do, and you go on to the next project. Meanwhile, you’re building up this belief that you’re a genius: you know how to analyze; you know how to make a decision; and, worst of all, you know how to implement — but all without implementing.

The magic isn’t in great ideas themselves, it’s in the implementation of great ideas. Without execution of ideas, it’s all academic. There’s a place for that, of course, but not in business. Business is of the street.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.