Kawasaki: shedding light on innovation, entrepreneurship

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Published: December 4,2006

On December 6, attendees of the Mississippi Technology Alliance’s Seventh Annual Conference on High Technology will expect to hear innovative, real-world answers to their questions and issues. And, they should get just that from the event’s featured speaker, Guy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and is a columnist for Forbes.com. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer Inc., where he played a significant role in the success of the Macintosh computer.

A graduate of both Stanford University and UCLA, as well as the holder of an honorary doctorate from Babson College, Kawasaki is the author of eight books, and his knowledge of the high-tech industry combined with his management background enable him to address a wide range of audiences. Past organizations he has spoken for include Wal-Mart, Nike, Sprint, Hewlett Packard, Calgary Flames and IBM, to name a few.

The Mississippi Business Journal recently caught up with Kawasaki via e-mail, and his answers prove that Kawasaki can be as entertaining as he is informative.

Mississippi Business Journal: Is this your first visit to Mississippi?

Guy Kawasaki: Yes, it is. The closest I’ve been to Mississippi before is reading John Grisham’s books.

MBJ: What grade would you give Mississippi in terms of its environment for entrepreneurship? What are the opportunities and the challenges?

GK: I can’t answer this because I’ve never been there. Is this a trick question to see if I’m an arrogant venture capitalist who thinks he can make judgments without any data?

MBJ: How did you become interested and involved in venture capital?

GK: I’m at the end of my career. That’s what entrepreneurs do at the end of their careers in Silicon Valley when you get too old, tired, have multiple kids and want to help the next generation instead of being the next generation.

MBJ: As a key player at Apple, as well as your own background in entrepreneurship, you bring a unique viewpoint to prospective and existing business owners, especially those focused on high-tech, right?

GK: One would hope. At least this is what I tell myself. I’m very confident I’ll shed some light on the process of innovation and entrepreneurship.

MBJ: What will you speak about at the Mississippi Technology Alliance’s high-tech conference? What do you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?

GK: I will address two primary topics — innovation and entrepreneurship. My intent is that the attendees go away with tangible, tactical ideas that will enable them to change the world.

Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at northway@msbusiness.com.

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