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Selling the Dream Paperback – August 3, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Kawasaki, a writer, consultant, entrepreneur, and former product manager for Apple Computers, offers a new selling concept that he calls "evangelism." He defines this as "the process of convincing people to believe in your product or idea as much as you do." Drawing on his own experiences promoting the Macintosh computer and the case studies of both profit and nonprofit organizations, Kawasaki analyzes the characteristics of successful evangelists. Among them are: MaryAnne Schreder's Centre for Living and Dying, Mary Furlong's SeniorNet, Anna Roddick's The Body Shop, and Bob Hall, manager of product planning research for Mazda. Kawasaki presents guidelines for finding a cause, preparing a plan, writing promotional material, and recruiting and training. Appendixes include the Macintosh's original product introduction plan, a bibliography, and a list of sources. This is recommended for public and academic collections who should also own Kawasaki's The Macintosh Way (Scott, Foresman, 1989).
- Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Clearly expresses what it took us years of mistakes to learn. I would have paid many times the cover price to read it ten years ago." -- Steve Jobs, president, NeXT Computer

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (August 3, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887306004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887306006
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. T. Mikesell on March 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I recently attended a conference where Mr. Kawasaki was the keynote speaker. He gave an excellent presentation, and because he writes like he speaks this is a very good book.
Unfortunately, what keeps it from being a great book is that it was written in the early 90s. It needs a Second Edition to look at what went wrong in the dot-com era, for instance, and whether more (or less) corporate evangelism could have made a difference. It also needs to analyze the Mac Product Introduction Plan and address what went wrong (or at least acknowledge that the document had some flaws in predicting the outcome of the Apple-IBM war). Some Twenty-First Century examples of how corporate evangelism still works would be helpful, too.
The book has a very light tone. If you're a fan of the Dilbert (anti)management books, you'll appreciate Kawasaki's approach. Occasionally the anti-IBM bias strikes the wrong chord (especially since very few of the jibes are directed at Bill Gates and Microsoft). Apple takes its lumps too, mainly in the area of their corportate structuring.
Coming from 1991's perspective, the examples in the book are showing their age. Should a new edition be published, including the suggestions noted above, expect it to be a four- or five-star book. As it is, it's a nice, relatively-inexpensive read that demonstrates there's still hope for the Davids of the world to overcome their own personal Goliaths.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Troy Glasner on July 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Selling the Dream is an excellent book and so don't mistake what I am about to say. I think Guy, as he points out in his book, had his Macintosh buddies write the first three reviews. While Selling the Dream is a good blueprint on what to sell and what to do in an "In Search of Excellence" way, it lacks "How" factor - as Geofffrey Moore said about Crossing the Chasm -- and I paraphrase - this is WHAT to do and Inside the Tornado was HOW to do it. Selling the Dream needs a part 2 - the HOW.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jamey Key on March 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
...this book should get you about 150 miles down the road real quick. If you are about to undertake a major project, no matter what, this book will give you some inspiration and encouragement. Again, he speaks in concepts more than laying down a numbered list of steps to follow which is why his ideas will still apply many years from now. This book seems to be written specifically to those in a non-profit organization, but the principles can again (like most of his books) apply to anyone, anywhere, doing any kind of project requiring lots of hard work and who are looking for an edge or will consider using some unconventional thinking. Heck, Im pretty lazy and wasnt really looking for a project to work on, but after reading this book, Im ready to GO FOR IT. Out of my way, Im going to conquer the world now!! (I liked it)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Martin on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Selling the Dream is a handbook for putting evangelism -- your passion for a product or idea -- into action. Kawasaki's blueprint for the beginning evangelist covers everything from how to identify good and bad enemies, how to deliver an effective presentation, to how to find, recruit and train new evangelists.
If you ever need to reach out to customers or build a team, you'll find immediate value in this irreverent classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Meghan E. O'Leary on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Once you get past the in-your-face call for response style, you're in for an eye-opening read. This is a good how-to book an applying theories of evangelism to further your organization's success or your personal cause. At the end of each chapter, the author offers a sometimes pithy, sometimes sarcastic, self-check which not only facilitates comprehension of the material, but also gives practical insights on how you can implement these concepts into your life immediately.
The book is full of self-references and self-promotion, but this is exactly what the author is advocating: he is his own cause and this book is his instrument of evangelism. The book provides the motivation and basic principles you need to get started to figuring out what "cause" will occupy your life and give your life meaning. Once you figure out what you want to do, this book gives you no-nonsense real-world advice about how you should go about realizing your mission and your vision.
This book challenges you to make deep personal assessments as to what you want your life to look like and to stand for. It challenges you to find your cause and act.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Pinto on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
The concept of evangelism is a bit old school in terms of high tech marketing. People like Guy have made the term "sales" a dirty word, and this fuzzy logic had a negative impact on the the world where a "great idea" had nothing to do with actual sales. But it's worth it to read this book to get inside the heads of silicon valley circa the 80's, and that is somewhat useful stuff.
But the REAL REASON TO BUY THIS BOOK: In the back it has the business plan for the Macintosh circa 1983. This document is a treasure, and makes the book worth every cent.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jackie Huba on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is not a new book. But the ideas are still as fresh today as they were in 1991, when Kawasaki released what many consider to be the evangelism manifesto.
Ten years later, some of the company case studies, especially the technology firms, seem dated. Still relevant for today's business leaders and marketers is the message that to make products, companies and ideas successful, you must sell the whole hog - not just the sizzle-by getting people to believe in your product, company, or idea and to share your dream. In the 2001 doom and gloom new-business reality, Kawasaki's ideas about building excitement for your product or service is a ray of hope.
Kawasaki researched and honed his innovative ideas in the 1980s as Apple Computer's chief evangelist and later as the founder of a startup software company. Kawasaki has a distinct sense of humor based primarily on good-natured sarcasm, and this makes the book an entertaining read.
The starting point for any evangelism project is a cause. Case studies on individuals, organizations and companies who have passionately evangelized a cause, including Windham Hill Productions, The Body Shop, and the Mazda manager who internally championed the development of the Miata make up the book's instructive core.
Inside you'll find a blueprint for planning and implementing an evangelism plan of your own. There are practical tips on everything you need to know, including creating a written evangelism plan, raising funds, hiring staff, creating promotion materials, and presenting your cause in public. As the ultimate how-to example, the book includes the original 105-page Macintosh Product Introduction Plan penned by Kawasaki and his Apple colleagues in 1983.
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