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The Brand Show : Blog : Kawasaki vs. Kelly*

About The Brand Show

Whether you're the market leader or a local startup, The Brand Show offers ideas and insights to help you grow your retail brand. Through expert articles and thought-leader interviews, we look at the brands, trends and shopper marketing strategies that shape our retail world.

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At Two West we believe having fun can be productive. Check out this mash-up of Kawasaki and Kelly and while you’re laughing you just might learn something new.
Mar 23, 2011

blog : Road show

Kawasaki vs. Kelly*

Both Guy Kawasaki and Kevin Kelly are known for their illuminating and provocative visions of technology, commerce and communication. So, last week, The Brand Show meant to sit down with them during the National Retail Federation’s Innovate conference in San Francisco. Problem is, we didn’t. In lieu of our failure to land the interview, we faked it. After all, we had some important questions to ask. What follows is a transcript of an interview that never was.

The Brand Show:
Good evening gentlemen. Let’s talk about social media. What do you think a guy like Dale Carnegie would think of marketing through a social medium like Twitter?

That’s a great question. Dale Carnegie would love Twitter. He would use it to reach his clients faster and more frequently. He would broaden his market by reaching people anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Carnegie would also teach his clients to use Twitter to win friends and influence even more people. 1

Personally, I love, love, love Twitter. I do it all the time. I tweet when I’m working. I tweet when I’m sleeping. I even did it while I was on stage this afternoon speaking at this conference. Heck, I’m probably doing it right now. Anyway, last June, I posted an enchanting question on Twitter where I asked my followers, “Can we create a real Jurassic Park?” Of course, it wasn’t me who asked the question. It was a post from the website HowStuffWorks.com. It only got three “likes” on Facebook and 49 retweets, but that’s okay. I can deal.2

Good point, Guy. I love dinosaurs, too. The absolutely neat thing about the dinosaurs in the movie Jurassic Park is that they possess enough artificial life so that they can be reused as cartoon dinos in a Flintstones movie. They won’t be completely the same of course. They’ll be tamer, longer, rounder and more obedient. But inside Dino (ed. The Flinstone’s pet dinosaur) will beat the digital heart of T. Rex and Velociraptor—different bodies but the same dinosaur-ness.3 

Not unlike a Velociraptor, Twitter has a digital heart. I have 7,918 followers on Twitter. We have had an on-going, provocative dialogue since my first Tweet at 8:53 pm on March 21, 2007 when I said “working on my book.”4  Since then, Twitter and I have been inseparable and un-freakin-stoppable. I have Tweeted two whole more times over the last four years. On January 27, 2009 I said “@fields But 40% it might make sense, and might be worth it”5  and then on October 18, 2010 I announced “Yeah! My book is done! ‘What Technology Wants’ is available today. My best yet. You should read it. At NYPL tonight.”6 

The Brand Show:
That’s some great insight. Good, good stuff. So the notion of “digital ecosystems” is very hot right now. I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on the future of the digital ecosystem and where it is going to take us?

Of course. Every ecosystem is a dynamic web always in flux, always in the process of reshaping itself.7 Where there is an ecosystem, there are local experts. An outsider can muddle through an unfamiliar wilderness at some level, but to thrive or survive a crisis, he’ll require local expertise.8 And expertise is exactly what we have in the digital ecosystem where human and machine collaborate by continuously producing and consuming information.

We humans collectively have capacity to store approximately 300 exabytes of information. This is close the total amount of information stored in one person’s DNA. It’s the equivalent of 80 Library of Alexandrias per person on the planet.9

Holy Kaw! That’s what I call enchanting. But success in the digital ecosystem is still dependent on success in the physical ecosystem. And I believe success in the physical ecosystem depends on four key ingredients: your smile, your dress, your handshake, and your vocabulary.10 

So, here’s my advice. First, smile at people. What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not to smile? Everything, if it prevents you from connecting with people. If you don’t believe smiling is useful, answer these questions: Do you like to do business with grumpy people? Do you know anyone who does? Do you think grumpy people get what they want? I don’t know if you were aware of this, Kevin, but a great smile uses the zygomatic muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle. The result is a real smile so special that it has its own name: the Duchenne smile, in honor of Guillaume Duchenne, a French neurologist.11 

Second, wear a dress. It’s hard to enchant people when you’re uncomfortable, and besides, there’s something enchanting about a person who is who she is and lets it rip. Third, perfect your handshake using this simple tried and true formula. PH = (e² + ve²)(d²) + (cg + dr)² + ?{(4

< s >2)(4< p >2)}² + (vi + t + te)² + {(4< c >2)(4< du >

2)}². It’s that easy!12 

The fourth and final thing that will guarantee your success in the physical and digital ecosystems is using the right words. Words are facial expressions of your mind: They communicate your attitude, personality and perspective. Wrong words give the wrong impression, so heed these recommendations: Use simple words such as “and” and “the”.13 

The Brand Show:
Got it. Okay. I think. So, gentlemen, what does the future of the digital ecosystem hold for us?

Every fact that can be digitized, is. Every measurement of collective human activity that can be ported over a network, is. Every trace of an individual’s life that can be transmuted into a number and sent over a wire, is. This wired planet becomes a torrent of bits circulating in a clear shell of glass fibers, databases and input devices. Once wired, a society can see itself.14 That said, no one is in charge. We can’t predict the future. Or is it that we are all steering, and we can learn to anticipate what is immediately ahead?15 Geez, come to think of it, I can’t remember.

Holy Kaw! These are awesome questions! Okay, as far as the digital ecosystem goes, according to Michael Mauboussin, author of “Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition,” three conditions must exist for X to cause Y: first, X must happen before Y; second, X and Y must have a functional relationship, not a coincidental one; and third, there cannot be another factor, call it Z, that causes both X and Y.16 This is what I always keep in mind when I stare into the crystal ball and predict the future. And I encourage you to do the same thing.

But there’s more! You can do two more things that should help. First, take Guy’s Realistic Enchantment Aptitude Test (GREAT) to measure your knowledge of enchantment.17 Second, buy my new book, Enchantment. It’s only $26.95 and it kicks butt! Remember, this is a golden age of enchantment because reaching people around the world has never been easier, faster, or cheaper.18

The Brand Show:
Well, that about wraps it up. Thank you both for your insights and thoughts and we will see you next time.

- I.V. Whitman, contributor for The Brand Show and brand strategist at Two West, Inc.

*Please note: This is a mash-up of actual quotes from “Out of Control” by Kevin Kelly and “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions” by Guy Kawasaki. Supplemental content is from the authors’ Twitter accounts, blogs and available online information.

1Enchantment, p. 113
3Out of Control, p. 312
7Out of Control, page 95
8Out of Control, page 174
10Enchantment, p. 9
11Enchantment, p. 11
12Enchantment. p. 12
13Enchantment. p. 12
14Out of Control, p. 440
15Out of Control, p. 449
16Enchantment, p. 176
17Enchantment, p. 185
18Enchantment, p. 112


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