Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Enchantment

By Ellie Fields October 19, 2011

Another post from our journalist/ software engineer Vanya Tucherove at #TCC11.

Legendary entrepreneur, speaker and Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki took the stage Wednesday morning to inspire and challenge Tableau Customer Conference attendees by sharing ten points about being enchanting.


"The first thing you need to do to achieve enchantment is to achieve likeability." Kawasaki continues by noting the some things which help to do so. "To start to get to be likeable, start with a real smile. Make it move past the mouth line and zygomatic muscle, and get it to your eyes- engage the Orbicularis oculi."

Once you have that part worked out, move on to learning to accept others. Take people at face value, rather than making judgments. It's not always an easy thing to do, particularly in contemporary society, where we all too often get conditioned to assess people by what they are or how they're positioned-- and almost expect them to come to us rather than meeting them where they are.

Default to yes. Get used to saying it. Look for reasons and ways that you can help other people. It will almost automatically make you more likeable.

Achieve trustworthiness. It doesn't happen automatically, but it starts with trusting others. Once you've done that, work on becoming a baker rather than an eater- the world is not a zero sum game, and learning to get to the point where you see that you can make more, it gets much easier not to be possessive in a negative way which discourages trust. Disclose your conflicts. Don't make people guess where your allegiances or biases may lie- by having them out in the open, they're less likely to be an obstacle later.

Kawasaki continues, exhorting the audience to work at perfecting their craft-" Do something DICEE- make it deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant. If you want to create a great product, ask yourself along the way if you've made it these ways." Make it short, sweet, and swallowable- if you can't keep it concise and easily rememberable. Complicated drives audiences away, but simple draws them.

Data visualization comes up in the talk, to acclaim from the audience, as the slide features Tableau dashboards. Kawasaki goes off on a bit of a tangent here, spontaneously declaiming "I love this stuff. I love data visualization. It's like Steve Jobs' vision , and it's effective in doing things effectively and quickly."

His time at Apple features prominently in the anecdotes, and is both insightful and entertaining. Talking about the idea of having to overcome resistance effectively without being argumentative, Kawasaki introduces the idea of providing social proof, and cites the iPod white earbuds as an example. "One of the things Apple did with the iPod- when it first came out, it came with white earbuds. No one else did this at the time, and it was different, so people started noticing them- and reached the tipping point where they bought iPods. They went out with their new iPods and wearing their white earbuds and were seen - and in doing so provided the social proof for the next generations of purchaser."

Rather than summarizing the whole talk for you, if you have the chance to hear Guy Kawasaki, go listen. If you don't, pick up one of his books- and find enchantment, and let it transform the way you go about your life, not just the way you interact with your data.

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