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Wise Guy

Lessons from a Life
Written by: Guy Kawasaki
Narrated by: Dan John Miller
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
Price: CDN$ 30.70
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Publisher's Summary

Silicon Valley icon and best-selling 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, which he's shared in best-selling books such as The Art of the Start and Enchantment. But before all that, he was just a middle-class kid in Hawaii, a grandson of Japanese immigrants, who loved football and got a C+ in 9th grade English. 

Wise Guy, his most personal book, is about his surprising journey. It's not a traditional memoir but a series of vignettes. He toyed with calling it Miso Soup for the Soul, because these stories (like those in the Chicken Soup series) reflect a wide range of experiences that have enlightened and inspired him. 

For instance, you'll follow Guy as he....

  • Gets his first real job in the jewelry business - which turned out to be surprisingly useful training for the tech world. 
  • Disparages one of Apple's potential partners in front of that company's CEO, at the sneaky instigation of Steve Jobs.
  • Blows up his Apple career with a single sentence, after Jobs withholds a pre-release copy of the Think Different ad campaign: "That's okay, Steve, I don't trust you either."
  • Reevaluates his self-importance after being mistaken for Jackie Chan by four young women.
  • Takes up surfing at age 62 - which teaches him that you can discover a new passion at any age, but younger is easier!

Guy covers everything from moral values to business skills to parenting. As he writes, "I hope my stories help you live a more joyous, productive, and meaningful life. If Wise Guy succeeds at this, then that's the best story of all."

©2019 Guy Kawasaki (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What members say

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  • Stan
  • 2019-03-26

It’s more interesting in the beginning

The first 1/3-1/2 is much better than the rest.

If you know Guy Jawasaki from the early days of the Internet, you will most probably like it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stan Stinson
  • 2019-03-01

Wisdom from one 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 Wise Guy.

However, even if you are not an Apple fan, and your only apple device is an iPod 4th and 7th generation, like me, there is a good chance you will still love the stories and wisdom inside of Wise Guy. I know I did. I have read and learned from some of his other books, APE, The Art of the Start, The Art of Social Media to name a few.

I not only am not an Apple fan, but we are also from opposite sides of the political thought spectrum. So you might ask why I would buy and read a book written by someone so obviously different than me? Aren't you just supposed to buy and listen to books written by people with which you agree? I think not. This wise Guy Kawasaki is a master storyteller and has much wisdom gained over his lifetime that I can learn from so I would be silly not to take advantage of his decision to share that with me. Although sometimes my wife and kids say I am silly, in this regard, I am not. I like to read books that entertain, educate and motivate and this one does all three. So don't be silly and get your copy today.

One of his pearls of wisdom inside is, "people are more similar than they are different," and the fact I am writing this review recommending this book is proof of that maxim. There are many more pearls inside including,

1) Old people rule - you are going to become your parents.
2) To be a writer, you need to be a reader (also advice Stephen King gives aspiring writers) and the book that helped him most in writing his 15 books.
3) The toughest teachers are the best.
4) There absolutely are absolute rights and wrongs.

I could go on, but I hope something here has piqued your interest enough to get your copy of Wise Guy today. You will be glad you did.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 2019-02-28

Great book with inspiring messages and lessons

I've had this book on my Audible wish list since I saw Guy post a note about it on LinkedIn. My exposure to Guy came from a link to one of his TED Talks, which was my gateway into following him. There are several instances in this book where he touches on topics he discussed in previous forums. I found this enjoyable because I could tell those moments or topics made an impact on him since they kept coming up.

The narrator is Dan John Miller and I was pleased to find his pace, tone, cadence matched the content of Guy's words perfectly. Guy is a noted public speaker so I would have enjoyed hearing his stories and learnings in his own voice. This is not a criticism of Miller. His narration was great for this book.

The pace of the book is easy to follow. I listen on my commute to and from work. I have found myself sitting in my car in the driveway waiting to go inside because I want to finish a section. Each section ends with words of wisdom, which is great. You get the story and then the takeaway to apply in your own life.

Wisdom: Learn from those who you consider successful and never stop learning. Now I have to go double check my review for double spaces, passive voice, adverbs and correct usage of "which" and "that".