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Guy Kawasaki Tweetup Notes

by Aparna Iyer

by Aparna Iyer

One of the fringe benefits that go with being a superstar in the Twitter world is that you never have to worry about a lonely lunch, or dinner for that matter – you will always have a bunch of faithful ‘followers’ in each city to make you feel just at home. The superstar in question, Guy Kawasaki , dropped by in Mumbai on business for a couple of days recently; his rather innocuous suggestion for a tweet-up was soon spreading like wild-fire in the India circles of his Twitter followers and within minutes, the news was everywhere: Guy’s in Mumbai and he wants to tweet-up!

But first things first: for those not in the know, Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. He is also co-founder of Nononina, which created a rumour reporting site, Truemors , and an RSS aggregator, Alltop . A former Apple evangelist, Kawasaki has authored eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way.

The tweet-up happened in Mumbai on 10th September 2008 at the Business Centre of the Oberoi; Guy used the opportunity to field questions about entrepreneurship in general, as well as those on his latest venture, Alltop. A majority of the audience being techie, a larger part of the meeting was devoted to discussing the pros and cons of Vista, and to the inevitable comparisons between Microsoft and Apple.

When asked if the ‘war between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates was for real’, Guy paused to think long and hard (no doubt wondering if there was even a politically correct answer to that one) and finally said, ‘Well, it’s not as bad as Israel and Palestine; perhaps more like America and Canada.’ In another instance, he had been asking the audience about Mukesh Ambani – Ambani’s famed $3-million palatial home in Mumbai had obviously made news even in distant US, but Guy was clueless about Ambani’s businesses – ‘Who’s Mukesh Ambani?’, and, as an afterthought, ‘Does he tweet?’

In the course of the evening, Guy remarked on how Twitter was becoming an invaluable business tool; he himself uses Twitter to talk about Alltop, to the extent that people had started accusing him of spam. But to his critics, he had this to say, “Hey, when I last checked, ‘following’ was voluntary – if you don’t agree with what I have to say, simply stop ‘following’ me.”

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