Perhaps best known as Apple’s chief evangelist in the mid-1980s, Guy Kawasaki is back in a familiar role yet in a much different company. The charismatic author, investor and business advisor has been named chief evangelist at Australian startup Canva.
An online graphic design platform, Canva is used to create designs for web and print, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, blog graphics and invitations. Kawasaki was one of the early adopters of the platform which has become a daily tool for many bloggers, marketers and small-business owners.
“In seven months, 330,000 users have created more than 1.5 million designs using Canva” said Canva CEO Melanie Perkins. “We’re incredibly excited to have someone of Guy’s calibre on our team. He brings a wealth of experience to Canva.”
Most recently, Kawasaki served as an advisor to Google, Android and Motorola on all things product design, user interface, marketing and social media. As Canva’s chief evangelist, Kawasaki will develop an evangelism program for the company and help it grow internationally, while also becoming an investor.
That program will consist, in part, of Kawasaki’s three keys to evangelizing a great product:
- Enable people to test-drive the product and decide for themselves.
- Provide an easy, slippery slope to adopt the product.
- And never ask people to do something that you wouldn't do.
So, why is Kawasaki making the jump to from big-company consultant to startup staffer? “There were three compelling factors” Kawasaki says. “First, I love the product -- specifically that it democratizes design by making amazingly simple graphic design possible for everyone.
“Second,” he continues, “I took an instant liking to Melanie and [co-founder Cliff Obrecht]. They clearly understand how to create a successful tech company and have surrounded themselves with A players.”
Third, Kawasaki says he wanted to shift from advising to “rolling up my sleeves and ‘doing’ again. I have one last big entrepreneurial effort left in me, and I want to go out in a blaze of glory.”
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