Enchantment: Guy Kawasaki Wants to Cast a Spell On You

“Encantado” is the common greeting to someone you’ve just met in Mexico.  In France, it’s “enchanté”.  These words are awkward for a native English speaker to use, (as I can tell you as an American who has been studying both languages.)  We just aren’t as easily “enchanted” as our more passionate international counterparts. In English, the word enchantment is too powerful to use as a casual greeting.  It implies a deep connection, an intimacy, and an attraction bordering on infatuation.  Put simply, enchantment is akin to falling head over heels in love.

This week, Guy Kawasaki will be hoping to enchant everyone with the launch of his new book, “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.” If you don’t know Guy, he is indeed enchanting, with a laid back demeanor and an easy laugh and smile that come from growing up in the “aloha” culture of Hawaii. 

Guy is the founder of Alltop.com a website that aggregates content into subject areas so users can easily find a wealth of information on a variety of topics (I’m proud to say that The Psychology of Wellbeing is featured on the Alltop page for Positive Psychology.)  He also co-founded venture capital firm Garage Technology Ventures and is a regular speaker (he has spoken a couple of times for the International Spa Association when I was on their board of directors) on technology, entrepreneurship, and “enchantment” or how to win people over in such a deep way that they become evangelists for your cause.

Prior to reading Guy’s new book, I had not heard the word “enchantment” used in this way, and I found that the title in and of itself was a good way of thinking about your relationship with customers, investors, employers and constituents.  What makes people feel “enchanted” with what you have to offer?

Guy pulls together an encyclopedic list of research from

  • psychology (decreasing the number of choices can make it easier for people to buy what you’re selling–from research by Iyengar and Lepper that measured customer’s buying habits when the variety of jams available was reduced from 24 to six),
  • business (provide “social proof” that other people are doing the behavior you are trying to elicit—from Robert Cialdini in Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive),
  • behavioral economics (“mere measurement” of peoples’ intent has an impact on their actions–from Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness),

and case studies or real examples from leaders of a variety of industries in the business world.

He also culls from his own experience including his background working on Macintosh for Apple Computers, perhaps one of the best examples of a company that has enchanted its customers with its products.  Guy shares his opinions (and he has one on everything) for many subjects around how to engage, persuade and enlist, including how to give an enchanting presentation (and here’s Guy enchanting during one of his best speeches at Indus Conference.)

I was skeptical of Kawasaki’s book at first because much of the information I had heard before.  But the diversity of different ideas, tips, applicable research, and real life anecdotes all in one text, makes it a very useful reference for stimulating ideas and creativity.  By the time I got to the end I had new ideas for how to approach several projects I was working on.  And I could see myself going back to it again and again, before any major meeting, presentation or strategic planning session.

In “Putting the Social Back in Social Media,” I wrote about the growing importance of deepening relationships in our changing world.  If you are looking to build connections, fans, and followers or just inspire those around you, you are going to need to learn how to be entertaining, engaging, and above all else . . . enchanting.


References and recommended reading:

Kawasaki, G. (2011).  Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.  Portfolio/Penguin.

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4 Responses to Enchantment: Guy Kawasaki Wants to Cast a Spell On You

  1. David M. Carter March 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm #


    I love your posts, and was particularly excited to see one dealing with “enchantment”. Unfortunately, after reading your review of Kawasaki’s provocatively titled book, I was disenchanted. Admittedly, I have not read the book. I’m sure it must contain some interesting and useful information about the subject. But (and you know me), it seems like another bad application of (positive) psychology – using high value qualities that are uniquely human to sucker people into buying things they don’t want or need. Apple is an example of a very bad corporate “citizen”. Cooperrider would be appalled. It would be nice if enchantment could be cultivated to bring about more well-being. Maybe I’ll work on it. Thanks for the idea…

  2. Christine Duvivier March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Thanks, Jeremy, this article is enchanting– and good food for thought. I love your blog! Of course the great content (you’ve added so much since I was last here in the early days) and also the color, layout and design are just perfect for your spa/well-being theme.

  3. Jeremy McCarthy March 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi David, I value your opinion so I’m sorry to have disenchanted you on this one. I wonder if you have read the “Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley. He makes an eloquent argument that while we like to criticize consumerism, we live in a culture based on exchange and in a sense we are all benefiting from greater wellbeing thanks to the greater opportunities to exchange things we want (like money, time) for things we want more (like iphones and ipads.) When it comes to designing things that people want, and enjoy and then delivering them to people in a way that feels good, Apple does an amazing job. If Apple, Zappos and Coca-Cola use positive psychology to make their customers happy, they are creating wellbeing. Or does it only count if you give it away for free?

  4. Guy Kawasaki March 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm #


    Thanks for the very nice review. I appreciate it very much–I’m blessed with readers like you.

    When I’ve encountered resistance, I’ve found that the best question you can ask is “Have you actually used it?” In most cases, the people who most vehemently “know” something isn’t good are those who have not used it.

    Which is rather odd, but life is odd sometimes.


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