Review for Wise Guy

Several years ago, I heard Guy Kawasaki speak at a conference. He was engaging and told great stories, so I bought one of his books. Later, I had some interaction with his AllTop team and was invited into a pre-release review of another couple of his books. Guy is entertaining and enlightening – enchanting even? This past month I received a copy of Wise Guy, his current release (as of today) and was not surprised to find more of the same.

This book has less of an overarching topic than his others, but is more like a series of stories you might overhear your dad and an out of town uncle talking about at a Christmas visit. “Hey do you remember when…” After each episode, Guy puts down the eggnog and pulls you aside to tell you what he learned in each set of circumstances.

The stories reveal a bit of Guy’s character and quirks, but the valuable lessons apply widely. He talks about growing up in Hawaii with Japanese parents, attending college in southern CA, working at Apple, quitting at Apple, learning to play hockey and surf when most of his peers would have been hanging up their blades and boards for good, and a whole lot more. He’s had a life full of unique opportunities and challenges and talks about how he’s tried to make the best of them all. He tells his stories (even the difficult ones) with a jovial outlook and does a great job distilling the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Wise Guy is an enjoyable read due to the light-hearted and conversational tone. Guy shares some good life lessons without being too heavy handed. Some of the best moments were his descriptions of lessons learned as a loving father. (All except the “Live off your parents as long as you can lesson” – What’s up with that!?)

I’ll end where the preface begins, with a quote from Terry Pratchett: “People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.”

How are your stories shaping you?

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