Customer Reviews: Selling the Dream
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on March 3, 2004
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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on March 28, 2001
...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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on July 14, 1999
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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on April 16, 2000
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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on April 26, 2003
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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on December 16, 2000
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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on August 15, 2001
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.
One look at Kawasaki's picture on the book cover - he's dressed in jeans and a blue work shirt sporting a toothy grin - and you could say that Kawasaki helped usher in the casual dress environment so prevalent in today's workplace. You also know that this is not an academic business book. It's more like a handbook version of the bible for evangelists everywhere who want to understand the new model for business success.
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on May 22, 2005
Selling The Dream is for people who really want to learn how to launch an idea. Guy Kawaski taught me the importance of surviving first then success follows.

This book provides some excellent foundational principles for how to develop your concept. We have to remember that Macintosh was like the David versus the Goliath when they decided to launch the Mac. Guy was one of the key people behind evangelizing the Mac computer and this book helps you to understand how they approached the process.


It was Guy who really showed me through the first five chapters the importance of Evangelisim. I consider Guy the Grandfather of Evangelisim and my spiritual Elder brother. What he releases in the first six chapters is the philosophy of Evangelisim or what some might call the Evangelist Creed. In chapter one he deals with defining what Evangelisim is and by the time you get to chapter six you will learn how to implement evangelisim. This is one of the most powerful 94 pages of reading and it doesn't get any better than this.


I think these types of books never grow out of date. Even though the dream was probably launched almost two decades back you need to read this book as a history lesson of how to approach the process of selling your ideas. The book is a easy read and well laid out.


The only reason why I'm not giving this book five stars is because of the title. Guy should have named this book "THE SPIRIT OF EVANGELISIM". (lol). I know Guy will like my title so I propose if he decides to update the book to also update the title. But this is a great book for Evangelist of Sales, Evangelist of Marketing and Evangelist of Business.
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on January 13, 1997
Mark Twain once said that the
difference between the right word and
almost the right word is the difference
between "lightning and lightning bug".
The same could be said about what
many MBAs think marketing is
compared with the "evangelist's" view
of marketing. The latter gets an incredible
charge from sharing some product or service, from
promoting a cause passionately; the
former is marking time by comparison.
Guy Kawasaki's book is concise, lucid,
amusing, and instructive. This book is
lightheartedly profound and amusedly
serious. It has much to teach not only
intelligent business people, but
everyone who has ever had a passion
to share a dream with others.
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on June 8, 2010
I first read this book back in 1998 when I was heavily influenced by Guy's entrepreneurial Rules for Revolutionaries/Kick But campaign. I have since referred to it often for its sheer enthusiasm and many inspirational insights in different areas of business.

12 years later I find myself in charge of Imagination Technologies' developer programme POWERVR Insider - much the same function as Guy had in Apple when he gathered the experiences furnishing the pages of this book. With the professional insights and experiences of my position, I can testify, this book (still) rocks! Like everybody else I would love an updated version, but the old, worn and annotated one, never strays far from my desk - and for good reason: Guy's no-nonsense approach and the timeless principles of evangelism have been the cornerstone of so many, many success stories in my position.
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