Guy Kawasaki: Make Meaning in Your Company | Summary and Q&A

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August 10, 2011
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Stanford eCorner
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Guy Kawasaki: Make Meaning in Your Company

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Summary

In this video, the speaker discusses the importance of making meaning in entrepreneurship. They emphasize that successful companies are those that are founded with the intention to change the world and make a positive impact, rather than solely focusing on making money. The speaker suggests three ways to make meaning: increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong, and preventing the end of something good. By aligning one's motivations with these principles, one can start a great organization.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the core essence of entrepreneurship according to the speaker?

The core essence of entrepreneurship, as per the speaker, is making meaning. They argue that starting a company solely for the purpose of making money is not enough, and that companies founded with the intention to change the world and make a difference are the ones that succeed.

Q: What is the speaker's belief about making money and making meaning?

The speaker's belief is that if one focuses on making meaning and changing the world, they will likely also make money. On the other hand, if the primary goal is to make money, they might not achieve meaningful impact or financial success.

Q: What are the three ways the speaker suggests to make meaning?

The speaker suggests three ways to make meaning. The first is to increase the quality of life. This involves focusing on improving people's lives and making them more creative and productive. The second is to right a wrong, where one identifies something that is wrong in the world and aims to fix it. The third way is to prevent the end of something good, where one feels the need to protect something beautiful or wonderful from being eroded or ruined.

Q: How does the speaker illustrate the motivation to increase the quality of life?

The speaker shares their experience from the Macintosh division of Apple Computer, where their motivation was to change the world and make people more creative and productive. They explain that the focus was not on making money, but rather on improving the quality of life for Macintosh users.

Q: What does it mean to right a wrong according to the speaker?

To right a wrong, in the speaker's view, means to identify a problem or injustice in the world and take action to end it. This could be applicable in not-for-profit organizations that aim to address issues such as pollution, crime, or abuse. The core mission of such organizations is to bring an end to these wrongs.

Q: How does the speaker define preventing the end of something good?

Preventing the end of something good, according to the speaker, is about protecting and preserving something beautiful or valuable. It is the realization that something is being eroded or ruined, and the desire to prevent its demise. This motivation can drive individuals to take action and start organizations to safeguard what they believe is worth preserving.

Q: What advice does the speaker offer when starting a company or organization?

The speaker advises that when starting a company, not-for-profit, church, school, or any other type of organization, one should have one or more of the three motivations described earlier. They emphasize the importance of aligning one's beliefs and goals with these motivations in order to create a great organization.

Q: What does the speaker suggest if one doesn't have any of the three motivations?

If one doesn't have any of the three motivations mentioned, the speaker suggests that they reconsider their path and purpose. They believe that these motivations are key to starting a great organization, and without them, one might not achieve meaningful impact or success.

Q: How does the speaker view the three motivations as the key to starting a great organization?

The speaker sees the three motivations (increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong, and preventing the end of something good) as essential for starting a great organization. They believe that by aligning one's intentions with these motivations, individuals can create meaningful and impactful ventures that have the potential to change the world.

Q: What are the speaker's associations with the companies they have been involved with?

The speaker mentions that they have started, funded, and been associated with various companies throughout their career. They have observed that the companies which were founded with the intention to change the world and make a difference are the ones that succeed. This suggests that their associations have been with organizations that prioritize making meaning over pure monetary gain.

Takeaways

The main takeaway from this video is the importance of making meaning in entrepreneurship. The speaker emphasizes that starting a company with the intention to change the world and make a positive impact is more likely to lead to success than solely focusing on making money. By focusing on increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong, or preventing the end of something good, individuals can create organizations that have the potential to make a difference.

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