David Gardner Welcomes Guy Kawasaki to Rule Breaker Investing

By David Gardner Markets Fool.com

Rule Breaker Investingwrapped up its Entrepreneur series last month with an interview with Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley-based author, speaker, and chief evangelist at Canva.

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For decades, Guy has led a distinguished career in the technology world, and in this episode, he shares his personal Ten Commandments for entrepreneurs. Find out why "jumping curves" and "rolling the DICEE" can be the key to a successful, innovative company.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Dec. 3, 2016.

David Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing. Well, it is a special treat. This is, after all, the time of abundance. The time of Thanksgiving. The holiday time.

So we've got something extra for you, once again, this month in Motley Fool Rule Breakers, and that is an interview with one of my favorite entrepreneur coaches (an entrepreneur, himself) [and] business minds, today, and that's Guy Kawasaki, a longtime friend of The Motley Fool and somebody I'm so delighted to share with you, today.

You may or may not know Guy's stuff. If you do, you're going to hear more great Guy Kawasaki advice. He's going to be reunderlining a few things that you'd heard once and perhaps forgotten. If you've never heard from Guy Kawasaki before, you're in for a treat. And so this will officially and formally close out Entrepreneur Month, which is what November was for Rule Breaker Investing. Well, let me get right to Guy.

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Gardner: Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool with tens of millions of users, at this point. He's on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz USA, an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley). We both have had at least one son be there or graduate from there. He was also, of course, the chief evangelist of Apple.

He's also the author of The Art of Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment -- I hate brushing through these [as] these are some very fine books -- Rules for Revolutionaries [and] eight other books. There's just so much to say about Guy. Guy, you got a BA from Stanford University. I didn't remember you got an MBA from UCLA. Looking backward, was that the right thing to do? An MBA? Did you even need an MBA?

Guy Kawasaki: Looking backward? Well, it's easy to look backward. At the time (this is the late '70s), the MBA degree was a fence that you jumped over to get career advancement. I don't think that's true in technology, today. So is it necessary to get an MBA to start a company? Not at all. Is it necessary to get an MBA to work for Goldman Sachs, or for Accenture, or for McKinsey? Probably. So it depends on your career path.

You know, when people say, "Well, I'm thinking of starting a company. I want to go get an MBA," I tell them, "You know, I don't think so." And in Silicon Valley, believe it or not, for a tech company an MBA is not necessarily a positive.

Gardner: Yeah, I can see that, so it's somewhat ironic to note that Guy Kawasaki has an MBA, but really place and time it makes sense to me. It makes sense to me. And Guy, you know, I first came across you... This is really random. I was sitting in Alexandria, Virginia in my house (this is in the mid-1990s), and on local cable access there was just some interview with you. You were sitting there, and you were taking down conventional wisdoms right in front of your host, talking about starting a business. You probably were shooting down an MBA at that point. This is two decades after you got one.

But you spoke to me -- you didn't know you were speaking to me -- but I don't think The Motley Fool started there. I was just sitting there, watching, and I was thinking I really like this guy (pun not intended) because he looks at things differently. And the Fool in me, which would later kind of break out and become a real thing, appreciated you going after conventional wisdom.

That's what I wanted to do featuring you this week on Rule Breaker Investing, Guy. I wanted to spot you up with some of your great what I think of as "Kawasaki-isms." Just to give the background, here, this is from a speech you gave in 2009, in fact, at Wharton. I'm just going to spot you up with your "Ten Commandments" and ask you just to give us a minute or two on each one. I'm not expecting you memorized these. Were these chiseled in stone? Do you remember these ten commandments, Guy?

Kawasaki: Uh, barely.

Gardner: Did you come down from a mountain, somewhere?

Kawasaki: Well, I've misplaced my tablet, so you're going to have to refresh my mind.

Gardner: No problem. These are all great, and I'm really looking forward to it. Let's get started with number one. Number one -- make meaning, not money.

Kawasaki: By this I mean, and it's really an observation, that if you look at the truly great companies, they make meaning. They make people's lives better. So Apple has made computing available to many people. Google has democratized information. Canva, the company that I work for now, is trying to democratize design. And my theory is that if you make meaning, you'll probably also make money. But if you start off trying to slowly make money, you'll just attract a bunch of people who are trying to get a quick clip.

Gardner: And Guy, when you become chief evangelist at Apple or Canva, is this something that you're bringing about a viewpoint to those companies or do those companies already get it?

Kawasaki: That depends on how retroactive you want your thinking to be. If you go to work and the company succeeds and it changes people's lives, then after the fact you say, "Of course I knew that, and I really joined that company in order to make the world a better place." But truly at the time you join a company, I would make the case that you're so frickin' happy to get job, anywhere, that you'd probably still go to work anywhere, maybe short of a cigarette company or something. So that's where the theory and the practice diverge, shall I say.

Gardner: Out of curiosity, Guy, what was your first job after your MBA?

Kawasaki: My first job coming out of my MBA was, believe it or not, working for a small family held jewelry company. It was a jewelry manufacturer. No test at all. And it was one of the best experiences, ever, because it enabled me to learn how to truly sell.

Gardner: All right, number two. Number two -- make a mantra, not a mission statement.

Kawasaki: Yes. So I'm anti-mission statement. I think mission statements are 25 to 50 words long. They're meaningless. They try to address too many constituencies. The typical mission statement is, "We endeavor to create world-class products that exceed the desires of our customers while enabling our employees to self-actualize their life goals while providing shareholders with a meaningful capital return while killing as few dolphins and whales as possible." And that's a little difficult to stomach.

And so I think you should create a mantra which is two or three words long and very easy to remember. For example, the mantra of Canva is "to democratize design." And I don't know if it's a mantra -- if they use it in this sense -- but from the outside looking in, I would say that Google democratizes information. So that's two words that explain what you do, and I think that's a much more powerful way to explain to the world, including your employees, why you exist.

Gardner: Beautiful. Number three. This is your own phrase, I think. Jump curves.

Kawasaki: Yes. So by jumping curves, I mean that true innovation occurs not on the same curve. Not that you made a better typewriter, or a better computer, or a better laser printer. True innovation occurs when you get to the next curve. So you go from harvesting ice, to ice factories, to refrigerator. You go from daisy-wheel printer, to laser printer, to 3D printer. You go from telegraph, to telephone, to mobile phone. That's where the big jumps occur, not because you made a slightly better copper-based telephone system.

Gardner: And playing it forward, you did such a glib and wonderful job just taking us through three quick generations of a few different technologies. Can you select a technology that we all think of as a new, cool thing today and can you jump a curve, or two, and look 25 to 50 years ahead?

Kawasaki: Oh, wow.

Gardner: You said it's easy to look back, earlier, which is true. This is an unfair question. But since we have entrepreneurs listening, somebody's probably wondering what curve he or she should jump.

Kawasaki: Well, let me give you an algorithm instead of an answer, because I don't have an answer. I think the algorithm is that it's probably a guy and a gal, two gals, or a two guys in a garage or a spare dorm room that are unencumbered by the current state of the art. So that's why it's so difficult for existing companies to jump curves. Now if you define yourself as "we harvest ice," then do you embrace the ice factory? If you own a bunch of ice factories, do you jump the curve to the refrigerator? So if you're Western Union and you own telegraphs, do you jump to the telephone, and do you jump from telephone to internet, and from internet to mobile? And that's the difficulty.

I'm 62 years old. I think it's very difficult for a 62-year-old to tell you how to jump a curb, because we're so stuck on our current curb. So, I think that's why, by definition, it's usually a young person who jumps the curb because they don't know any better.

Gardner: Well put. Number four, Guy. You're throwing an acronym at us with this one. In product design, you said, "roll the DICEE," but dice has an extra "e" on the end and they're all capitals. That's an acronym. What is it?

Kawasaki: OK. A "DICEE" is the five essential qualities of innovation. So the "D" stands for depth. Great products are deep. You don't run out of power as you come up the curve, the learning curve.

The "I" stands for intelligent. When you look at it, you say, "Huh! This company understood my pain. This company understood my problem."

The "C" stands for complete, so it's not just deep. It's also wide. A great example of that is Amazon. It's not just buying books, anymore. It's basically buying anything you want.

The first "E" stands for elegance in the user interface and the industrial design.

And the last "E" stands for empowering. That it makes you more creative or productive.

So the way I apply this is when you try to jump curves, ask yourself, "Are we creating something that's deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant?"

Gardner: Boy. Each one of these I want to go further down, but if I did we would have way too long an interview. But that's wonderful guiding words from a guy who clearly knows. Number five -- this is a classic Guy Kawasaki phrase. Number five -- don't worry, be "crappy."

Kawasaki: Yeah. So don't worry, be crappy means that when you have jumped curbs, don't worry if your curb isn't perfect. For example, if you had the first refrigerator, it was already better to the best ice factory, so ship. When you had the first laser printer, it was already better than the best dot matrix printer, so ship. If I had been smarter, I would have called this the "minimum viable product,"...

Gardner: Aha!

Kawasaki: ...and I would be Eric Ries instead of Guy Kawasaki. But, you know, I actually think that don't worry, be "crappy" is clever.

Gardner: It's definitely a mantra, and mantras matter. I like it. And you were certainly saying it before the MBP crowd showed up, so I think that they've learned something from you.

Kawasaki: I know! I know! Really!

Gardner: Now, let me ask. Since we just covered a point where you used the word "elegance," some people might think there's a little bit of a conflict between the concept of design something that has elegance; but just being crappy and shipping. How do you reconcile those?

Kawasaki: Well, as long as you understand that I am not suggesting that you ship crap. I'm suggesting that you ship a curve jump and it can have elements of crappiness to it. There's a difference.

Gardner: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kawasaki: So the first Macintosh was elegant, but it had elements of crappiness to it.

Gardner: And let me ask, because I can't not think of Clayton Christensen and his studies and work on disruptive innovation, where often it is the new player who comes in and democratizes something. It's never going to be an elite quality product. It's just going to be something for the common man and something that people start to use. It's not as good as the Mercedes-Benz, but over time, these disruptive companies can end up growing into those markets. Guy, have you read some Clayton Christensen? Do you see some consonance?

Kawasaki: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I'm a big Clayton Christensen fan. I think there's two key lessons, [here]. The first is that it's very difficult to remain innovative. That's his whole point, that it is a dilemma for innovative companies to remain innovative. So that's number one.

Number two -- I think a very important message from Clayton is that the market leaders are typically attacked from below, not above. To take a case that I'm very familiar with because I'm in the design business -- let's say you're trying to attack Adobe Photoshop. One method would be to create a better Photoshop (more features, more power, higher end). I don't think you succeed that way.

I think you attack Photoshop from the bottom, which means less features, easier to use, cheaper, online, and all that other stuff and then you go upmarket. But you don't start by saying "we're more powerful than Photoshop." You start off by saying, "we're less powerful than Photoshop. More elegant. Cheaper. More approachable. Easier to learn."

That's the way you attack a leader.

So when Sun attacked, let's say, DEC or Digital, they didn't attack it from above. They didn't say "we have a more powerful computer." They attacked it from the bottom -- not the bottom, maybe, but lower -- saying that "we have a cheaper, easier, faster, you know whatever computer."

Gardner: So counterintuitive. So true. Such an important point.

Kawasaki: Can I draw a parallel?

Gardner: Please.

Kawasaki: When you started your company, you didn't try to outdo the Wall Street Journal, right? You attack the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and any other financial institution or institutions that cover finance...

Gardner: Thank you.

Kawasaki: You didn't attack it from above. You attacked it from below.

Gardner: We were Fools. It turns out 20 years later we still are Fools. But thank you, Guy, I appreciate that.

Kawasaki: You have outlasted Lehman Brothers.

Gardner: [Laughs] I don't know that I should laugh at that, but it's true. It's true. Thank you very much. So we are at the halfway point. This is halftime. Those are five of Guy's 10 commandments. I'm taking a deep breath, here, because I'm already processing a lot that you just shared with us. Do you want to do a quick halftime show? Do you have something to sing, maybe? Is Janet Jackson around? Or should we just go right into the second half?

Kawasaki: I think we should just plunge ahead.

Gardner: All right, good. So I'll kick off to you, here, to start the second half. Number six -- polarize people.

Kawasaki: Yes. Polarize people means that great innovation will make some people very happy; it will make some people very pissed off; and that's OK. The goal is not to make everybody happy, because if you try to do that, you'll end up with mediocrity. So the key -- the key -- is that you create something that excites people and the consequence of that is that yes, you may piss off a few people, but so be it. That's better than not being on the radar.

Gardner: You know, I think of somebody else that I really have enjoyed his work over the course of time, Seth Godin, and he talks about the word "remarkable," which means simply that you're causing people to remark about what you're doing. It might be good [and] it might be bad, but you're causing them to remark. It sounds like this kind of polarization.

Kawasaki: It's the "purple" Kawasaki.

Gardner: There we go. Purple Kawasaki. I like it. Of course, punning on Seth's Purple Cow for those keeping score at home. Outstanding. Number seven, Guy. Let 100 flowers blossom. What do you mean by that?

Kawasaki: Yes. Let 100 flowers blossom means that at the start of great innovation, you may think you have figured out exactly who should use your product, how, and why; and you may encounter a very interesting situation where unintended customers use your product in unintended ways. And lots of companies freak out when this happens. My God. The wrong people are buying our products in large quantities. And when that happens, you should just declare victory and take the money.

Gardner: And that's because at the end of the day, we're all trying to improve the world. Change people's lives. Sometimes we do it in ways we, ourselves, didn't even foresee or intend.

Kawasaki: And don't be proud. Take the money.

Gardner: Number eight -- churn, baby, churn.

Kawasaki: Yes. Churn, baby, churn is a play on "burn, baby, burn" and the Black Panthers. By churn, baby, churn I mean that one of the hardest things for a revolutionary to do is to shift a curve jump and to continue to enhance the curve jump. To churn it. To go from 10, to 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. And that's a huge challenge, but so necessary. A Macintosh 128, to Macintosh 512, to Macintosh Plus, to Macintosh II, etc., etc.

Gardner: And guy, do you still see Apple doing that today? Is that your view of Apple in 2016? Churn, baby, churn?

Kawasaki: Well, I have to say that they continue to churn their phone. I don't think they churn it fast (or fast enough). I have an iPhone 7, and to my amazement you still can't do wireless charging. It's little things like that. On the one hand, they're telling the world that we all have to go to USB-C, but this has a lightning connector, so explain to me why you're telling us to go to USB-C on computers, but you're still lightning? I don't get that. I can't tell you that I'm blown away by the pace of their churn.

Oh, another case in point is I have a Macbook Pro, and this Macbook Pro is from 2013. It's now 2017. I have a new Macbook Pro on order, but I used to change Macbooks every year. When the hard disk started getting filled up, right there it was God telling me to buy a new Macbook Pro. But I've had this thing for three years. How is it possible that I've had a Macbook Pro for three years?

Gardner: But isn't that kind of a good thing? I think a lot of people don't want to have to constantly buy a new computer every year.

Kawasaki: Yeah. I mean, certainly I understand that, but I want to buy a new computer every year. Not because I want to spend the money, but because I want to be blown away. Oh, it got twice as fast, or twice as cool. I'm OK with that. In a sense, people have to understand for me (and maybe not a lot of people) but for me, my computer is the core of my productivity.

It's not like a car. For a car for me, I can spend years in a car because it's not core to my existence. But a computer is core to my existence, and I want it to be improved all the time.

Gardner: Number nine. Niche yourself.

Kawasaki: Yes. So niche yourself is a recommendation that you need to be very important so you're valuable, and you need to be unique; that is, only you make this product or service. Because when you're valuable and unique, that's when you can make history and make money.

So you can be valuable but not unique (and I would say that Dell is in that corner). You can make a lot of money, there, but it's always about price, because you're not unique.

You can be unique but not valuable, and in that corner you're just stupid, because you own a market that doesn't exist.

You could be unique and not valuable. That's many Silicon Valley companies, where it's a dumb idea, but people like me are funding multiple versions of the dumb idea.

So the corner you need to be in is where you're the only game in town and it's very valuable.

I would say, for example, when the iPhone first came out, it was valuable, because it had a good user interface. And it was unique because it was the only way you could easily, and cheaply, and legally buy music. So that was unique and valuable, and hence the success. You could make the case that all of innovation is about being unique and valuable.

Gardner: You know, Guy, I think a lot of people who are entrepreneurs... One of the most popular start-ups that's not a Silicon Valley start-up (I'm thinking small business across America and the world) is a restaurant. A lot of people start restaurants. Have you ever opened up restaurant?

Kawasaki: No. I'm not that much of a masochist.

Gardner: It's a tough business, no question. But I think about what makes unique in a restaurant. I feel like that's a creative problem that you or I could solve. I think that there are ways. We had Danny Meyer on of Union Square fame and Shake Shack fame a couple of weeks ago on this podcast, and I think his decision to take tipping out of the equation, altogether, at his restaurants is an example.

Kawasaki: Yes. That is definitely an interesting thing. I think his point is that it makes a better relationship between customer and... Do they call it front? The front office? What do they call it? It's back versus front, right?

Now, if you're a diner, you're not thinking about, "Well, how much do I tip this guy or gal," and if you're a waiter, you're not thinking, "Well, how much is this *!@#* going to tip me?" But I think almost more important, [which] is part of his concept, is he increases the base-level pay of everybody. I think he makes a good point. So a waiter or a waitress has a low base, but can make a lot of money because of tips. But the cook, who's making the essential product...

Gardner: That's right.

Kawasaki: ...is on a flat rate. There's no profit sharing. There's no tipping of the cook.

Gardner: That's right.

Kawasaki: So it's kind of ass-backwards, right? So what's more important? The food or the serving of the food? At least they're equally important. In his NPR thing, they interviewed some cooks and they were making $25,000 to $35,000 a year after spending four years in culinary school. That boggles my mind.

Gardner: Thinking of another business that's taken tipping out and has gotten pretty popular these days is Uber. What do you make of Uber?

Kawasaki: Well, Uber hasn't taken tipping out. It's just tipping is automated, right?

Gardner: Yeah, but taking the decision [away from] the consumer. It just feels easier to me, anyway.

Kawasaki: Yes. Oh, yes, it's much easier. I admit the concept of taking tipping out -- there are times where you might not want the Uber driver to get any tip and it's kind of automatic. And there are also times where you want to give an exemplary case to an Uber driver and you want to pay them even more. And I know you can do that, but who the hell ever remembers to do that? But I don't think the essence of Uber is taking tipping out. I think the essence of Uber is that you go to your app, you say you're here, you see how many cars are around.

It's not like calling a cab company. You call a cab company and you have no idea if they're coming all the way across town to pick you up...

Gardner: Yeah ...

Kawasaki: ... and it's going to be half an hour or five minutes. And then the whole experience of getting out. So you get out of the cab. You hope they take a credit card. You hope they're not capturing your number. I mean, there's a lot of like iffy stuff. Whereas Uber, you just get the hell out of there...

Gardner: Yeah...

Kawasaki: ...and boom. And then I think the probability of getting reimbursed by your company for an Uber fare is much higher than a taxi fare because to get out of a taxi and you paid, you have to remember to get a receipt. You have to remember to put in the number, the date, and the amount, and then you have to remember to keep that piece of paper, and you have to remember to turn that piece of paper in, which means you never get reimbursed for a cab.

But Uber is always there, so you could make the case that Uber has cost companies money because it's much more likely for an employee to get an Uber reimbursement than a cash cab reimbursement, so maybe it's a negative for companies.

Gardner: Well, it sounds like a better world to me, although in the end we have the choice of either one, and that's the world I like. Guy, you've been so gracious with nine points. I've got your 10th one for you. Whether or not you remember it, this all, again, comes from a speech you gave at Wharton seven years ago, and it closed out with number 10, follow the 10-20-30 rule. What's that?

Kawasaki: Yes, the 10-20-30 rule is a rule for pitching. So my recommendation is that you use 10 slides, you be able to give those 10 slides in 20 minutes, and that your font is no smaller than 30 points. And if you were to follow this rule, your pitch would be better than 95% of the pitches in the world. Just those three rules.

Gardner: And you said 30 point or bigger, right? You didn't say 30 point or smaller. You're talking about big words, a few slides. A short presentation.

Kawasaki: Minimum. Minimum 30 points, yes. Not maximum.

Gardner: Now, I'm picturing you as the chief evangelist at Canva. I know you're very busy. Do you watch pitches these days? Is that part of the Guy Kawasaki life in 2016?

Kawasaki: Nope. Never. Never.

Gardner: Do you miss it?

Kawasaki: Not at all. You know, the nature of pitches is that you look at a thousand and you accept one...

Gardner: That's inefficient.

Kawasaki: Yeah.

Gardner: That's a lot of work.

Kawasaki: And also, by definition you're almost always going to say no. That's number one. Number two [is] it's hard, because on the one hand, you want to help the entrepreneur improve his or her pitch. On the other hand, helping the entrepreneur improve his or her pitch takes enormous intellectual involvement. And so, I think that's why venture capitalists never really give you feedback. They kind of say, "Yes, very interesting. Looks promising. We'll get back to you," because that's easy to say.

Whereas if you really wanted to improve the pitch, you'd say, "OK, so you suck here, you suck here, you suck here, and this is how to change it." But then when you start telling people where they suck, then they argue back that, "no, we don't suck." And then it becomes a time suck.

So in a sense, it's like when you're hiring an employee. You interview a thousand people and you hire one. You don't give 999 employees feedback. Oh, this is why we didn't hire you. It's because you're a brute, and you're wearing a polyester pantsuit, and you have bad breath, and you have a really poor rsum. And you have lousy references. We'll tell you who the lousy references came from.

Now, some of these actually step over the line of legality, but when you get rejected by a company, you always get a letter that says "despite your high qualifications, we are unable to offer you a position." They don't tell you why you sucked. So "don't cry for me Argentina," but that's why it's really hard to listen to a lot of pitches if you want to help the entrepreneur, because it takes enormous energy and enormous intellectual involvement to truly help someone you're rejecting.

Gardner: Well through your books and through your own work. Through speeches that you give. Through your very presence in the world at large, Guy, you have helped innumerable entrepreneurs, this one included, and I'm really grateful to have this chance to connect with you this week.

Let me close out by asking you two quick questions. One is I would love to know a hero of yours, living or dead. I think heroes matter so much to all of us, and I'm always curious. You're one of my heroes, but who's one of your heroes? And the second question -- you can take them in either order -- is can you give the classic Kawasaki line about don't let the bozos get you down and explain it.

Kawasaki: As for heroes, right now I'm into surfing, so I guess my hero would be Kelly Slater. That's number one. I suppose you wanted a more intellectual kind of answer...

Gardner: No, no. That works.

Kawasaki: So that's one. Another is to reiterate a name that you mentioned. I think that Clayton Christensen is doing great work about innovation. A third would be, of course, Steve Jobs. There are aspects of how he did things that I don't exactly admire, but there are aspects that he was just beyond anybody else's capabilities, so he would be a hero. So those are some heroes for you.

Gardner: Let me pin down, really quick, on Steve Jobs. Can you give a quick anecdote? Some time that you brushed Jobs wrongly? Throw us a bone, here, Kawasaki Jobs.

Kawasaki: OK. So first of all, when the Macintosh division decided to hire me, the person who hired me was my college classmate, so it was purely nepotism. When he went to Steve to say, "OK, can I hire Guy?" Steve's ringing endorsement of me was, "He's OK, but I'm not sure, and if you hire him and he doesn't work, I'm going to fire you, too." So that's how I got my job at Apple. But it all worked out.

Gardner: It sure did.

Kawasaki: That's my Steve Jobs story for you.

Gardner: Great. All right, and "don't let the bozos get you down." What do you mean?

Kawasaki: Well, don't let the bozos get you down means that there are going to be people in the world who tell you it can't be done, and it shouldn't be done, it isn't necessary, and you have to learn to ignore those people.

Now, there are fundamentally two kinds of bozos. One bozo is obviously a loser. Body odor. Pocket protector. Japanese watch. Rusty car. So this bozo is not dangerous because an obvious loser should not endanger your existence because only losers listen to losers. So if you're a loser, you might listen to a loser. Your listeners are not losers, so this bozo isn't dangerous.

The dangerous bozo is the rich, famous, powerful bozo, because many people parse rich and famous to smart. But I would make the case that rich and famous usually (or not usually) but at least 50% of the time parses to lucky. So it's very difficult to separate luck from competence. And this is why it's dangerous, because if a dangerous bozo tells you you it can't be done and shouldn't be done and it isn't necessary, and you actually listen, you might not try, and that's the worst outcome of all.

So I want to caution people from listening to people just because they're rich and famous. By that tip you shouldn't listen to, I don't know, Kim Kardashian about how to raise a family. I would suggest that that might not be optimal. But that's the danger.

Now, that is kind of an extreme example, but let's suppose you're in the personal computer business, and you go to someone who's been very successful in the mini computer business for advice. And the person in the mini computer business might tell you, "Well, no one wants a personal computer, and so you should learn cobalt and come work for my mini computer company." And if you listened to that person, you would never start Apple.

That's why if you went to the person who owned 50 successful ice factories and said to that person, "Well, we have this new thing called a refrigerator. You don't have to have an ice factory to deliver ice to you anymore. Now you can have your own personal ice factory," I highly doubt that the ice factory owner would say, "You're right. You should do this company."

Gardner: Outstanding. Guy Kawasaki, what a pleasure it is to reconnect after some years and I continue to wish you the very best. Good luck with Canva and all of your other endeavors.

Kawasaki: Thank you very much, David. It's a pleasure.

Gardner: Fool on!

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Gardner: Well, I hope those 30 minutes, or so roughly, spoke for themselves. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, and that you were educated, amused, and enriched by what you just heard. And if that's the case, then that's what The Motley Fool set out to do when we first met Guy Kawasaki when we were just an AOL site some 20+ years ago.

And so bring on December. You can check out past episodes of Rule Breaker Investing and all The Motley Fool podcasts at our podcast center. Just go to Podcasts.Fool.com. And while you're there, you can check out our subscription services. A new issue of Rule Breakers service comes out with two new stock recommendations from me the last Wednesday of every month. It sounds like right about Mailbag time every month. You can check it out by going to the podcast center, scrolling to the bottom of the page. That's Podcasts.Fool.com.

Cheers!

As always, people on this program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Learn more about Rule Breaker Investing at RBI.Fool.com.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fools board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool is short Shake Shack and has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture, Adobe Systems, and The New York Times. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.