Yes, Philippe was so excited to meet Guy he forgot to ask for a photo together!
Our founder Philippe Laval, was absolutely thrilled to meet his longtime hero, Guy Kawasaki, after a speech in the Bay Area. But he was even more thrilled when Guy agreed to try Evercontact, and was so impressed with all the updates we found for him it he started recommending it in his presentations! Here’s how it happened:
What brought Guy to your attention, and what did you learn from him?
I was a big fan of Guy for a long time, obviously from his work at Apple, but also as I have read all of his books, and there are 13 of them! He was a big inspiration for me.
When I read the original version of Guy’s book, The Art of the Start, it was a revelation. He was the first person to clearly explain what it meant to create a startup and how to go about it practically.
From a French point of view, it was total revolutionary. I remember reading that a business plan was useless and thinking “finally someone who understands us.” The book was filled with practical advice and anecdotes to illustrate it in action. For someone in France far away from Silicon Valley, it was extremely educational.
So how did you finally meet?
Sunir Shah from Olark was in contact with Gabriela in marketing and suggested that we attend the Small Business Web Summit in San Jose (so thank you Sunir!!). The event looked perfect for us so I decided to attend even though I had to miss the first day due to prior commitments.
I ended up arriving late, and entered the room where the main conference was going on. On stage were Guy Kawasaki and Pam Slim (Escape from Cubicle National and Body of Work author and speaker) from the Keynote speech: How to Build a Thriving Community of Customers and Fans.
He was joking around on stage about finding his colleague’s book in a garbage bin in France so he seemed quite approachable 😉
So at the end of the conference, I overcame my natural shyness and went to see him. I excused myself for being French, he laughed and asked what I did. I explained Evercontact’s product and vision to him, and honestly was not really sure he was very convinced but he was really nice and friendly.
Video presentation for APAC: The Art of Social Media, Evercontact at 24:25 🙂 here
So you weren’t sure if he was that enthusiastic but you decided to followup anyway?
Yes, afterwards I sent a followup email and he asked me for an Evercontact test account. We had a series of back and forth mails because he had trouble with the interface (which ended up being extremely helpful for us to make it better), and then on the first go we had an extremely rare incident, the servers went down! What a nightmare!
Luckily we had it quickly fixed and he got the results of his 5 year Flashback. We searched through over 13,000 of his contacts and found over 2,000 missing or outdated contacts to automatically update. He was really impressed!
After that, I of course tried to press my luck and asked him to become an advisor for us. He very nicely declined as he is way too busy, but he said that he was so pleased with his results he spoke about us every time he had a presentation!
We had exciting proof in the video here! Evercontact is a “very cool tool” 🙂 🙂
And he also said we were very welcome to tell everyone that he recommended Evercontact!
One of many tweets!
So what concrete results did this all bring for you and Evercontact?
We have received lots of tweets and notes from people telling us Guy had recommended us to them, and while we can’t track it we definitely have quite a few people trying us out due to his speeches.
Of course we were proud to share the video on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media, it is not everyday something like this happens.
And personally it is really a wonderful vindication of all I have been working for: to finally meet Guy in person, have him use Evercontact, like it and recommend it is a dream come true!
About Guy Kawasaki
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 The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, 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.
Evercontact is a cloud service that discovers missing contacts in emails, allows them to be shared with collaborators and keeps CRMs and address books automatically up to date without any effort. So far, the company has analyzed over 1 billion emails and created and updated more than 300 million user contacts. By automating the tedious and often neglected task of creating, sharing and updating contacts, Evercontact has saved its clients over 1 million hours of work.
Thank so much for reading Philippe’s story, and Guy, if you happen to be reading this thanks for your generosity and openness, this was a huge boost for Philippe and everyone at Evercontact!