My Debt to Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki just started blogging, and I'm compelled to mention it because I owe him one. Rewind back to 1994. I'm a EE/CS major at Duke University, but what I really want to be doing is creating super-cool products. I'm a recent Macintosh convert and a huge fan of the crew that created it. I had just read The Macintosh Way by Guy Kawasaki and a big article in Wired about General Magic, and I think: "the next Macintosh is being created right now, by the same guys, and I so desperately want to be there."
I read and re-read Guy's advice about how to get into a Macintosh Way company. I dig up email addresses of people working at Magic, e.g. b1-66er, and send polite notes asking about jobs. b1-66er, in an effort to get me off his back, finally offers to turn in a resume to HR for me. I mail it, thinking I finally have my "in." Anyone who's sent a resume to a HR department can guess what happened.
Months pass, it's 1995 now, and by this point I've read Selling the Dream and Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People. I decide to send Guy a "thanks, I loved your books" letter. I do, and mention in passing that I'm attempting to get into General Magic using his advice in Macintosh Way. Couple weeks later I check my email, and I remember this vividly:
From: Scott Knaster Subject: Working at Magic
Stunned silence. Then I'm yelling to my friends in the next dorm room, "guys, come here, NOW, you won't believe this!" We read the email together. Guy had passed on my name and contact info to Scott Knaster, author of several Macintosh programming books (which of course I had), and here was Scott offering to help me get a job.
The rest is a whole other story, but the quick version is: Scott bugged b1-66er, I bugged both, and eventually b1-66er made an intern job for me. It was the first and only internship General Magic ever created. Two months later I was offered a full-time job, just as I had hoped, and it was easily the coolest five years of work I've ever done.
For all this I owe Guy Kawasaki an incredible debt. His books gave me the vision for how I wanted to work. Screw "programming" for a living. I want to build insanely cool products and have a great time doing it. Then he, personally, started the ball rolling which got me the very coolest job an aspiring engineer could ever hope for. I'd be shocked if Guy knows my name or even remembers sending that email to Scott Knaster, but I sure as heck remember.
The point of all this? First, as a public "thank you" to Guy. Second, to get you to read his blog. Go on!