People who came to hear technology and marketing guru Guy Kawasaki speak at the University of Notre Dame on April 14 reacted with laughter and surprise when he told them they needed to see the Justin Bieber movie, Never Say Never.
In a talk brimming with humor, the popular blogger and former chief evangelist (his actual title) for Apple Inc. was being completely serious.
Kawasaki said the Bieber movie – a documentary about a concert tour by the 17-year-old pop star – teaches important lessons. One is about endurance – the movie follows Bieber on an 86-stop bus tour. The other is about marketing.
Kawasaki mentioned that the film shows Bieber’s staff going out into parking lots at his concerts to give away tickets to girls who don’t have them. The gifts bring tears to the recipients’ eyes. He said companies should ask themselves if they “own” a segment of their target market the way Bieber owns the market of 9- to 16-year-old girls.
“I doubt it. Apple can’t say that, Cisco (Systems) can’t say that, YouTube can’t say that, IBM can’t say that. Nobody can say that,” said Kawasaki.
The movie recommendation came as part of a wide array of advice Kawasaki offered on how to get people to like you or like your product or service. It’s the subject of his latest book (his 10th), Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
Among his other recommendations:
Kawasaki also shared a couple of tech industry “light-bulb” jokes. One involved the Macintosh division of Apple, in which he worked. He said members of the Mac team were so arrogant they wouldn’t even allow employees from the rest of the company into their building. This led the outsiders to develop a joke:
“How many Macintosh division people does it take to screw in a light bulb? One. The Macintosh division employee holds up the light bulb and expects the entire universe to revolve around him.”
An anti-Microsoft joke has also emerged, he said.
“How many Microsoft employees does it take to screw in a light bulb? None, because (Microsoft CEO) Steve Balmer has declared darkness to be the new standard.”
Kawasaki’s talk was sponsored by Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Science, the Student International Business Council, Innovation Park, the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Entrepreneurship Society and the Four Horsemen Society.