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December 30, 2005

A Brief History of Mine

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To build a case that you should give a shiitake about this blog, let me explain my background. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official during his long, distinguished career.

I attended Iolani School where I graduated in 1972. Iolani is not as well known as its rival, Punahou because no presidents of the U. S. went there, but I got a fantastic and formative education there. (Punahou is “USC,” and Iolani is “Stanford”—but I digress.) I pay special tribute to Harold Keables, my AP English teacher.He taught me that the key to writing is editing. No one in the universe would be more shocked that I have written eight books (or one book eight times) than Harold Keables.

After Iolani, I matriculated to Stanford; I graduated in 1976 with a major in psychology—which was the easiest major I could find. I loved Stanford. I sometimes wish I could go back in time to my undergraduate days “on the farm.”

After Stanford, I attended the law school at U.C. Davis because, like all Asian-American parents, my folks wanted me to be a “doctor, lawyer, or dentist.” I only lasted one week because I couldn’t deal with the law school teachers telling me that I was crap and that they were going to remake me.

The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; hence, my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell, and this skill was vital to my entire career.

I remained at Nova for a few years until the the Apple II removed the scales from my eyes. Then I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so.” I can’t live in a city where people call sushi “bait.”

Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple; for giving me my chance at Apple, I owe Mike a great debt. When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years I evangelized Macintosh to software and hardware developers and led the charge against world-wide domination by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple during this timeframe—Apple has been very good to me.

Around 1987, my job at Apple was done. Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. To this day, 4th Dimension remains a great database.

I ran ACIUS for two years and then left to pursue my bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting. I’ve written for Macuser, Macworld, and Forbes. I call these the “Wonder Years” as in “I wonder how I came to deserve such a good life.”

In 1989, I started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best co-founders in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. We created an email product called Emailer which we sold to Claris and then a list server product called LetterRip.

In 1995 I returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die. (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits.) My job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.

A couple years later, I left Apple to start an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 2.0 of Garage.com was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 of Garage.com is called Garage Technology Ventures; it is a venture capital firm and makes direct investments in early-stage technology companies.

Currently, I’m a founding partner at Garage and co-founder of Alltop as well as a husband, father, author, speaker, and hockey addict. Alltop is an online magazine rack that I hope you’ll check out—you’ll probably enjoy Innovation.alltop, for example. I’ve also written ten books. My latest is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. You can read about my other nine books here.

If you’d like to stay on top of my writing, the best places are the American Express Open Forum and Google+. You can also follow my adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

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Comments

Very inspiring blog and bio, you are a great inspiration for budding entrepreneurs like me and thousand of others who visit your blog everyday looking for inspiration.

http://dharma.indviews.com

Your website & posts are very interesting to read, so I'll forgive you for comparing Punahou to USC! :) Thank you for sharing your insight and experience with the web community- your perspective on self-branding was especially useful, and I'll pass it on to my arts promotion classmates.

Guy, thanks for the great Keynote in Boston back in July. I really enjoyed it. Can you send me the presentation?

Thanks,

Ryan

"After Stanford, I attended the law school at UC Davis because, like all Asian American parents, my folks wanted me to be a 'doctor, lawyer, or dentist.'"

I think Jews and Asians could start a support group around this. You know, we'll secretly act out our fantasies as construction workers and fireman, while pretending our parents look on in horror.

Really though, love the blog...and the ipod belt!

**************

I hear you. I want to play professional hockey. All that's holding me back is that I can't skate, shoot, or pass.

Guy

Hello there Guy,

Hailing you from somewhere down east (M'sia), I'm glad to have finally stumbled upon your blog. And I'm definately going to keep you in my list. I haven't read the whole of your book, but hehe my bf did 'evangelized' to me your stories, and those have stuck with me. Keep on writing and peace out!

Aronil

hi guy,

we haven't met yet , i just saw you in the internet and i'm quite impressed with your background, let's cut to the chase, i an an inventor of a revolutionary, unique, water- activated deodorant that when applied by a person correctly, that person would no develop body odor , no matter how much he sweats for 3 days. now you know there's no deodorant in the market right know that can do that. only i can, my invention is patent pending, but i am looking for people like you to promote it and make lots of money along the way.. are you with me. if you don't believe me or a little bit skeptic of my claim. in will sen send you a little sample to try and evaluate to your satisfaction. no to get the ball rolling , let me know if you want the sample and i will mail it to you=, just give em the address where to send it. just to let you know the deodorant market in north america alone is approximately $ 2.4 billion , are you ready to plant a stank w/ our company. visit my website at www.coolprotectant.com and get more info. i know you are a nice guy, pls give me a chance to show you my innovative invention. thanks in advance.

sincerely,
hermo malaguit- ceo/inventor

Hi Guy,

I am reading your great blog already for two years. I like the way you're writing!

Keep Rockin!

Best regards from Hong Kong!

Chris

Dear Guy,
I found you twice in the last couple of days. The first time was when I read a business article (forget which one) and saw something about LinkedIn and clicked on it and saw your before and after profile.

The second time I found you was today when I went to Iinnovatecast.com and saw a link for your site listed.

For the sake of your readers, I will mention that Iinnovatecast.com is a great website hosted by several Stanford University Business students. They have a podcast show that I had subscribed to on iTunes that interviews recognized innovators such as the CEO of Google, the founder of Craigslist and more.

I'm really looking forward to getting to know you and to learn as much as I can from you through reading your blog posts and books. I love your site!

Hello Guy,

Just read, "A Brief History Of Mine".. I'm glad I found your blog. I love the part where you stated that all Asian American parents want their kids to either be lawyers, doctors and dentists.. That is very true, as it not only apply to Asian American parents but basically applies to the majority of Asian parents worldwide:-) My extended family all share the same notion and belief that if you've succeeded in any one of those proffesions, you are the king of the world:-) I reside in Jakarta, Indonesia by the way.

Well, thanks again for the inspiration.

I saw you at CommunityNext and your panel was great!!! Thanks for all the inspiration! :)

Hmmmm... interesting!
Thanks,

- Steven Burda, MBA
http://www.linkedin.com/in/burda

Dear Guy,

thanks for your freshness and for your encouragement to be different.

I have just left my old fixed job behind me and start my own business right now as a Specialist for International Team Development on Strategy, Structure and Culture.

What you say is very supportive to me.

Greetings from Cologne, Germany

Jo

Guy,

You have a Great Blog and I enjoyed reading your background.

Thanks,
D. Anthony Bright / CEO
No-Pie-In-The-Sky
http://www.nopieinthesky.net

Guy,

It is a wonderful blog. Could you please add my c/c++ blog (http://www.openasthra.com) in your network.

Thanks!!

I enjoyed your site very much.

Feel free to join my networks
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talro, openBC, ecademy, Plaxo, AOL, ICQ…

You can also find me in Skype talrosen, MSN / Windows Live Messenger / Yahoo talrosenberger@hotmail.com, GoogleTalk tal.rosenberger@gmail.com

Regards,
Tal.Rosenberger@gmail.com

Hi,
Your Blog has always been interesting, it is a surprise how can you have unattended and unresponded Linkedin invites.

regards,
Praveen Lohani

Dear Guy

Thanks for your kindness and courage. You mentioned you are interested to hear what we think you ought to write about. With your background in business, startups, and the Net - why not a book on how the new media will replace the old - i.e., print, TV, etc. Those folks are shaking in their boots, but still kicking.

My experience with book publishers is that they can hardly get to first base with sales. They too often have limited vision. I even had to fight with one publisher to include people of color in my health and beauty books. Racism lives: Hard to imagine but true.

On the Net, we are a huge swaying ocean of lights, spirits, and ideas. Thanks for your guidance.

Letha Hadady
www.asianhealthsecrets.com

Guy, It will be great to hear what were the most valuable sales lessons you learnt? Corporate Sales training programs teach you how to be "professional and fair". Real life shows different...
What mindset do you need to sell?

Hi Guy

Interesting reading, i have started a few companies myself, now work for http://www.indigoshop.co.uk

i would not comment related to your job.what i would like to say is how do you handle being a hawaiian. my relatives resides in hawaii also in nohili st.,honululu and i will also vist there anytime.

Hey Guy,

Really great blog you have going!

We're thinking of starting up on our own, would you recommend going down the venture capitalist route or dig our the cash ourselves?

We have heard they take a big chunk of profits when you get going?

From the guys at TWD!

This blog posting was of great use in learning new information and also in exchanging our views. Thank you Guy!

Hope this helps someone: http://findsource.org

And then Microsoft came and destroyed the egoistic Steve Jobs and smashed his apples to pieces

i have had the histroy of your life weder good or bad i am very very impress of your present situation thanks

Thank you for your sharing.I have learned much from your articles.

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