Editor’s note: Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley-based author, speaker, entrepreneur and evangelist, will be the opening keynoter at ISACA’s 2019 North America CACS conference, to take place 13-15 May in Anaheim, California, USA. Kawasaki recently visited with ISACA Now to discuss some of the themes he will explore at North America CACS, including innovation and entrepreneurship. The following is an edited transcript. For more of Kawasaki’s insights, listen to his recent interview on the ISACA Podcast.
ISACA Now: At North America CACS, ISACA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Of all the technology-driven changes during that time, which do you consider to be the one that will have the longest-lasting impact?
It’s an all-encompassing change, but the internet by far will have the longest-lasting impact. And not all of the impact may be positive.
ISACA Now: How can practitioners be evangelists in their own right in support of innovation at their enterprises?
It would take a book to answer this question (which I have written). But the gist is that your innovation has to be “good news” that improves the life of your customers. It’s easy to evangelize good stuff. It’s hard to evangelize crap. Then you have to believe it’s good news and develop the skill set to do great demos to show, as opposed to tell, people why it’s good news.
ISACA Now: Which aspects of successful entrepreneurship tend to be most misunderstood?
That it’s fast, fun and easy. Entrepreneurship is slow, painful, and hard – and that’s if you succeed. Also, people vastly underestimate the role of luck and overestimate the impact of their skills.
ISACA Now: Your career has included time with Goliaths such as Apple and Google – what lessons from enterprises of that size are most applicable to smaller and medium-size businesses?
The lessons that Goliaths can teach are:
- Anything is possible. Two guys/gals in a garage can create the next big thing.
- Engineering counts more than marketing. We’re not talking about selling sugared water here.
- Trees don’t grow to the sky. Every company hits a wall or two. What matters is what you do after you hit the wall.
ISACA Now: What should organizations focus on to make sure they are bringing in leaders with the right skills for today’s fast-evolving business landscape?
Organizations should add a third parameter to what makes a good candidate. The first two are always work experience and educational background. I would make the case that a love of what the company does is just as important. Honestly, I’d rather have a candidate with imperfect experience and background who loves the product than a perfect candidate who “doesn't get it.”