Talking tech since 2003

Guy Kawasaki is well-known today as a blogger, speaker and venture capitalist. He’s also been behind several startups, including Truemors and Alltop. But before all of that, one of his earliest jobs after graduating from Stanford University was in the marketing department at Apple. Kawasaki was one of the Apple employees who marketed the Mac for Apple from 1984 through 1987.

His experience at one of the most heralded companies of our time, and more generally, his background in technology, business and marketing must have appealed to Motorola. The company, now owned by Google, has brought Kawasaki in as an advisor. The areas of focus for Kawasaki will be product design, UI, social media and marketing.

Kawasaki posted the news on Facebook, likening Motorola to Apple circa 1998.

Motorola reminds me of the Apple of 1998: a pioneer in its market segment, engineering-driven, and ripe for innovation. I believe that great products can change everything. For example, the creation of the iMac G3 (the Macs that came in colors such as Bondi, Strawberry, Blueberry, Lime, and Grape) was a pivotal event for Apple.

One of Kawasaki’s first actions in his new role was to create a Google+ community centered around mobile devices. He seems to be sharing mobile news and humorous posts regularly in the community, and though there are only 1,960 members at the moment, there is a good bit of interaction between them.

Bringing Kawasaki on board shows that Motorola — and, by association, Google — is not content with sitting on the treasure trove of Motorola patents while other Android partners like Samsung grow larger and larger by the day. We discussed yesterday how Samsung’s meteoric rise to #2 in the smartphone world could present a problem for Google if Samsung should decide to move to its own operating system. A resurrected Motorola is one way to hedge that bet, and because Google owns the company, it could have more control over a device and the software that goes on it than it would working with a partner like Samsung, Asus, or LG.

It’s been a long time since Motorola has put out a good product, let alone a good Android product. Hopefully, with Kawasaki offering his input in key areas, the company can turn things around and start to give competing Android device manufacturers a run for their money.


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