Former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki says thinking too much about your personal brand is a slippery slope toward egomaniasm.
Guy Kawasaki: When you have this kind of perspective that you’ve arrived, that you have established a brand, that’s a really slippery slope towards just egomania. In a sense, I’ve written 10 books; do I consider myself this world-class author? No. Do I consider myself a brand? Eh, you know, slightly. I mean, not like Coca-Cola or Apple, obviously. In the tech world, in social media, yes. But I don’t… I wouldn’t say you’d call me humble, but I don’t like wake up in the morning saying, “God, what a great brand I am.” I mean, that’s kind of bullshit.
I would advise people to not think that way, that you know, if you wake up one day, you say, “I’m a brand,” you’re pretty much sliding on that slope towards destruction.
10 years ago… it’s a long story, but I had a Porsche 911 and I’m driving down the street in **** Park, and I stop at a stop light and I look over to my left and I see this car full of teen-aged girls and they’re looking at me and they’re smiling at me and they’re laughing and they’re giggling and finally one of them motions, you know, roll down the car window. So I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, you know, I have truly arrived. I’m truly a brand. You know, they probably know me from my background as an evangelist at Apple or maybe they’ve seen me as an author or maybe they’ve seen me as a venture capitalist, but I’ve truly arrived because now teen-age girls are you know, waving me down on the street.
So I rolled down the window and this girl leans out and says to me, “Are you Jackie Chan?” And it was just, like one of the world’s funniest moments for me. So now one of my goals in life, speaking of personal brands, is that some day in Hong Kong, Jackie Chan is driving his car, stops at a light, the car next door is full of teen-age girls and they ask Jackie Chan to roll down his window, he rolls down his window and they ask him, are you Guy Kawasaki? That’s my goal.