Dare to be Revolutionary

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Guy Kawasaki speak at a NSBA conference, I believe in Nashville. Guy worked on the original Macintosh project in the 80’s and was very influential during the early days of the Internet. Being enamored with Apple, I was excited to hear him speak, thinking I would learn more about the Mac development and Apple in general.

I know people often say, “It changed my life!” While his speech may not have “changed my life,” it did change my perspective. Guy did not focus on Apple or the Macintosh but rather the bigger

book cover rules for revolutionaries

Used with Permission

picture of embracing or ignoring innovation. He had written a book, “Rules for Revolutionaries,” http://www.guykawasaki.com/rules-for-revolutionaries/ that I still have and pull out periodically. It’s sitting on my desk right now. Woven in the stories that Guy told were specific lessons. Key for me was the idea that sometimes you ride a wave too long without anticipating the next wave or innovation. Sometimes you hold to “how we’ve always done it” rather than looking to future needs. We listen to the naysayers rather than trusting our own intuition.

The book is divided into three different sections: Create Like a God, Command Like a King and Work Like a Slave. Create Like a God focuses on creating the idea part of an innovation. Command Like a King refers to the need for someone to lead, take charge and make the hard decisions to move the idea forward. The third section, Work Like a Slave, addresses the tremendous amount of work, hard work that a successful innovation or revolution requires. It isn’t enough to develop great ideas; you have to enlist others and work to move your ideas forward.

One story Guy Kawasaki told that stayed with me after all these years was about an ice company. At the time of the story, iceboxes were the norm and people had need of block ice to cool the appliance. With the onset of the refrigerator, there no longer was a need for block ice. The ice company eventually went out of business because they failed to anticipate the “next wave” and continued to hold to how things had always been done. They were anchored in their perspective and thinking.

So, what does this story and a book about creating and marketing new products and services have to do with online and elearning? I wonder what learning strategies and teaching practices we are carrying over from f2f because that’s how “we’ve always done it.” What perspectives are we anchored in that don’t work well in an online world? What innovations are we ignoring that fit in an online learning environment but we fail to try because others insist it won’t work?


Check out, Canva, Guy Kawasaki’s newest endeavor. Canva is a free, online resource that allows you to create for the web or print. “Fun, free and simple to use!”

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