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Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Silicon Valley icon and bestselling author Guy Kawasaki shares the unlikely stories of his life and the lessons we can draw from them.

Guy Kawasaki has been a fixture in the tech world since he was part of Apple's original Macintosh team in the 1980s. He's widely respected as a source of wisdom about entrepreneurship, venture capital, marketing, and business evangelism, whi
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Portfolio
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Alison Jones
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read lots of Guy Kawasaki's books, and I've interviewed him for my Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast. I'm fairly familiar with his philosophy of life and much of his career. But reading this book was like sitting down with the man over a leisurely beer in the sun. It's not so much an autobiography as collection of anecdotes and reflections. They're not tightly organised, and occasionally the link between them escaped me, but he's walking his own talk:

'Always tell stories. Use them t
Peg Fitzpatrick
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-book-club
A different kind of book from Guy Kawasaki - the stories you've been dying to know about his start in Silicon Valley and how he's created his entrepreneurial life from the ground up. It's like a personal chat with Guy behind the scenes of his amazing career working with Apple, writing fifteen books, and keeping his family at the center of everything he does.

Guy covers everything from moral values to business skills to parenting. As he writes, “I hope my stories help you live a more joyous, produ
Wise Guy is a collection of lessons that Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley icon and renowned author, learned during this two stints at Apple (he was a part of the original Macintosh team in the 1980s during the Steve Jobs' years) but more so, the wisdom that prevented him from taking the job when it was offered a third time, and instead made his mark in other aspects of the business world.
In each chapter, Guy shares vignettes from his life, followed by a few paragraphs tabbed Wisdom, with little nugg
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been following Guy Kawasaki on the social media for ages and was happy to get this ARC.
This book is amazing, full of food for thought and reflections.
It's an engaging and entertaining read, well written and full of hindsights.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to PENGUIN GROUP Portfolio and Netgalley for this ARC
Noah Kawasaki
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The number one thing that stood out to me while reading Wise Guy was the accuracy every story told illustrates who my dad is. I've always looked up to him as a role model, and have always known him as a great man. But something about reading super specific examples, one after the other of the knowledge he learned over his life confirmed my belief and expanded my understanding of his character. His writing tone and the stories told embody his hardworking mindset and this lighthearted, funny, and ...more
Gabriel Pagan
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading preview copy!
Stan Stinson
Wisdom from a Wise Guy - Don't miss this one!

Guy Kawasaki worked with Steve Jobs at Apple and was an Apple Evangelist during his second stint in Cupertino. Therefore, if you are an Apple fan or historian, you will love this book and the stories and wisdom inside. That is a given. He has obviously done a lot more than 2 stints at Apple but that is probably his most well-known role. He has performed in many others and you will learn about some of them inside of Wise Guy.

However, even if you are no
Lis Carey
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is Guy Kawasaki's fifteenth book, and this one is about his life--from Hawaii to California to Apple, to his own software company, other companies, back to Apple for a while. It's not a straightforward autobiography; he's conveying the lessons he's learned in an active life that has gone in many different directions.

For instance, before he connected with Apple, he had worked in the diamond industry. Sorting diamonds, and selling them.

Which makes a certain kind of sense.

A lot of what he has
Douglas G.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
Back in 2013, while I was working as Human Resources Director for the City of Medford, Oregon, I was pleased to be asked to be an early reader of an interesting publication called APE: Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. This was an amazing guide for budding authors and even experienced ones seeking to move into the digital age. This year, the task was different--to review a pre-publication copy of Guy’s 15th book: Wise Guy, released Tuesday by Penguin Random House/Por ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free kindle copy as a part of an early review program.

I have been a massive fan of Guy Kawasaki since almost 12 years, when I started my entrepreneur journey. This was a time of no social media and no entrepreneurship bubble, atleast not in India. Nobody had a clue what an investor deck looked like and Guy's 10/20/30 rule of deck creation revolutionized every entrepreneurs life. 99% of the entrepreneurs who were not funded using Guy's rule atleast got a verbal praise fo
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here’s this “Guy” who worked for Steve Jobs, and he’s come to some of the same conclusions in his career that I have, but it’s intriguing to hear how it all went down. If you’re mid-career or middle-age, you’ve likely come to your own understanding by now about the importance of relationships and reciprocation; what’s interesting is learning how Guy came to his personal conclusions and the experiences that formed his opinions. It’s fascinating to hear stories from his unique perspective, from hi ...more
Bianca Smith
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This review was first published at Mass Consternation.

I received this book for free from Net Galley and Guy Kawasaki in exchange for an honest review. If you've read my other reviews, you'll know that if it's bad, I'll say so, regardless of how I received the book.

Did you read Guy’ Kawasaki’s The Macintosh Way? It’s his first memoir written just after he left Apple. It’s filled with confidence and arrogance that’s kind of amusing. In my review on Tap Dancing Spiders I even commented on the tech
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A collection of stories from Guy’s life and work, and the lessons he’s learned from his journey so far. Some stories are familiar, like those when he worked at Apple. What I like best is how he gives importance to his family. You can sense his pride when he talks about his parents and his children. What also struck me was how he seized the opportunities that came his way, and how grateful he was for those opportunities.

A good, quick read, to be inspired by someone who continue to do well in life
Frederick Wysocki
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guy Kawasaki lived through an amazing period of technological growth. Since the timeline of his journey was close to mine, I found ‘Wise Guy’ very interesting. It is a series of vignettes peppered with mostly useful advice.
Michael Huang
Personal journey of an immigrant from Hawaii to Stanford, to Apple, and so on.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve known of Guy for many years, but have never heard him speak nor read any of his books or blogs. I found Wise Guy to be a good way to get to know the person behind his voice and words. I’m Japanese too, though I grew up in the Bay Area, and I felt a many values, and a certain sensibility about the world in common with him. His personal and business experiences are interesting in themselves, but his informal and friendly descriptions of events and their context, along with simple summaries, l ...more
Samir Madhavan
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy good read

Chapters can be consumed in any order. There are some good wisdom in the book. Gifted it to my brother in law and he liked it too
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: Received an ARC.

- Lots of interesting stories and reminders of things to keep in mind in life
- Distilled lessons at the end of each story

- Seems like a hodgepodge of stories
- Some lessons are based on anecdotal evidence
Joan Eisenstodt
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Is there anything that Guy Kawasaki writes or says that doesn't make me think, laugh, smile, cry ("I laughed, I cried...") and rejoice that he puts his thoughts in print? (Well, I read only in print.) Full disclosure: I did receive a signed copy of the book. I would have purchased one had I not _and_ I've now given new copies to people so they can find the wise lessons from Guy, his spouse and children.

What I've always liked about Guy Kawasaki and his writing is how accessible it is - meaning, I
José Antonio Lopez
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guy Kawasaki returns with a book about life lessons that is entertaining, fun and yes, wise.

Wise Guy is a very personal book since he uses personal stories to give context to his pearls of wisdom. From the beginning Kawasaki clearly states:

"Before you ask, or wonder, this is not my autobiography or memoir. It is a compilation of the most enlightening stories of my life. Think personal lessons, not personal history."

Wise Guy is a collection of life lessons. We can learn from our own experience o
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Cohn
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Guy Kawasaki’s Wise Guy Is Truly Wise and Engaging

When I started reading Wise Guy, by Guy Kawasaki, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I understood that it is a personal book but I didn’t really understand how much it comes from the heart until I actually started reading the book. Some of Kawasaki’s lifetime experiences in the book have obvious lessons and some are more subtle and require some reflection. All of them are relevant.

Kawasaki discusses his heritage and how it shaped who he is. Every pers
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really didn't think of this book before reading it. Because I hardly knew anything about Guy Kawasaki. But come on I would have never called him "are you Jackie Chan?". Lol does he really look like him? NO. Being the humble person he is, he added this with humor. As someone suggested in LinkedIn I looked it up, and couldn't stop reading it. And I loved it :D

The writing is so neat and straight forward with point to point explanations. Makes it easy to remember. Inspirational and motivational. T
Neenz Faleafine
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I received my copy of Wise Guy, I dove right in devouring chapter after chapter.

I could have written a raving review after the first six, however it was the final chapters, specifically Parenting and Ohana that I was most interested.

And even though my review is weeks later after starting the book (I got busy), I am very grateful that I finished the entire book because those two chapters really shine a light on the life of a man that has changed my life.

Guy is wise that's very clear.

It's how
Al Doyle
Confession: I've been a Guy Kawasaki groupie since the early days of the MacIntosh. He won both my heart and mind to stand up for what it right: the MacOS and Apple equipment, against all else. I got so adamant that I made a rule in our office stating I was not to even SEE a non-Apple device when I walked through our Fusionhappens offices. My web developer made a humble plea to please let him have a Windows machine to he could teast his Graphic Interface and functions across all platform. To his ...more
Jess Witkins
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
First, I have to say I am a Guy Kawasaki fan and his work with Canva and through social media was a big influence and help during my time in the nonprofit world. I am still a fan of Guy Kawasaki's expertise.

That said, while I was excited to read his book after hearing an interview with him on a podcast, I was underwhelmed. I'm a big memoir fan, and Guy is upfront that this isn't a true memoir. That's correct. It reads a bit more like a long graduation speech with stories and advice thrown in. I
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like Guy's style. He doesn't just share fascinating stories from his life. He also distills them down to useful insights, and suggests exercises for the reader, which I think are really helpful. It isn't surprising to me. I've read most of what he's written, and have enjoyed what I've seen from him online. I confess that I simply don't care that much about social media, so Guy's suggestions about likes and followers and his tweets and evangelism of Google+ haven't mattered much in my life. And ...more
Aaron Mikulsky
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love the Steve Jobs quotes and stories from working at Apple as well as Guy’s June 1995 Palo Alto High School graduation speech!

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.” - C.S. Lewis

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” - Emma Donoghue
#courage #bravery

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
- Roy Disney

Here is a summary of the top advice from Guy Kawasaki’s book Wise Guy:
Acquire unique skills that ar
Telana Simpson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever admired someone, and wished that one day you might get to sit down with them over a scrumptious meal and get to hear stories from their life, to learn from them?

I felt like I had this opportunity with Guy Kawasaki recently, as I read his latest book, “Wise Guy”. My time with him was filled with stories from his rich life. And he shared his wisdom by highlighting his learnings. My experience just missed the scrumptious meal.

“Wise Guy” though appeals to me because the best way we lea
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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

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