SVP Wellesley Commencement Speaker: Guy Kawasaki
For the final Lunch and Learn of the 2016 Summer Venture Program, our speaker was none other than marketing guru Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki has authored thirteen books and was on Apple’s marketing team in 1984. He is jovial and speaks in metaphors, equating our fast-paced way of life to Tinder and the importance of quick and efficient presentations to F18 jets. Kawasaki was in his Silicon Valley home when we connected with him from the Blank Center via video conference.
He began by telling us that the key to entrepreneurship is finishing a prototype. Many entrepreneurs become obsessed with raising money, but Kawasaki believes that their main focus should be on creating a product. Even if the prototype is imperfect, what’s more important is that they can quickly improve and revise the product. Kawasaki recommends this strategy over spending time trying to make the first version perfect. He has also seen young companies worry about scaling long before such conversation is necessary. On this subject, he suggests that they “eat what they kill” rather than planning to eat what they kill. Take each step as it comes, rather than plan so far ahead that you may never reach your goal.
Kawasaki believes that social media is the best thing that has happened to entrepreneurship. Businesses previously had no choice but to purchase advertisements, but the advent of social media has allowed marketing to be fast, free, and ubiquitous. He believes each marketing campaign must provide value to the customer. This can mean either creating or curating content that somehow helps the target market. He recommended sharing articles and photos that the customer would find interesting. Doing so creates a feeling of reciprocation within the customer- the business has done them a favor by finding them great content, so in return, the customer will be more inclined to buy their product.
As our last Lunch and Learn speaker of the summer, Kawasaki gave each team something new to think about. No wonder Babson awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2000! We are excited to see how his words propel the Summer Venture teams into the future.