How Introverts like Guy Kawasaki & Pete Cashmore are changing the rules of the game with Online Branding?


18th January, 2013

And how a book changed my life forever?

Caution-Nobody is a complete extrovert or introvert. These are tendencies and we all are on different points of the scale.

We have lived in a world which worships the ‘Extrovert’ and pushes the ‘Introvert’ to become an extrovert, to get success. As 'The New York Times' bestselling author Susan Cain says, “Introversion along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness and shyness is now a second class personality trait.” But many of us have not even realised the world has changed. The credit for this goes to Social Media (aka Facebook, Linkedin Twitter and others), which arrived around 2006. Social Media gives an opportunity to introverts to express themselves from the computer (later they can come out in the open to express their passions.)

Sometime back, Raja Choudhury, well known Digital Filmmaker-Director & Founder, Universal Quest & C3CUBE Multimedia, recommended me to read The New York Times Bestseller, “Quiet-The Power of Introverts in a World that can’t Stop Talking” (by Susan Cain), the book had a strong impact on me and changed my life forever. Incidentally, Raja is the only guy in Delhi, I truly respect for personal branding knowledge (and Indian wisdom too). Though I consider myself an ambivert (midway between introvert and extrovert, but I am surely not a party animal). Thanks a lot Susan for the wonderful book and Raja for being the medium.

In my view, the world changed in 2008 when Guy Kawasaki, bestselling Author, Speaker, Silicon valley legend, co-founder Alltop.com, & former Apple Evangelist (3rd most influential person on social media, according to Forbes) publicly announced in his tweet, “You may find it hard to believe, but I am an introvert.” Pete Cashmore (founder of Mashanble) followed suit and tweeted, “Throw me firmly in the introverts camp with Guy.” (refer Page 62-63 in Susan's book) Parents do not need to force their children to become extroverts now. In fact, Christian M, Executive Coach has a Facebook page ‘The Introvert Ideal’ Lisa Petrilli, a well known coach to CXOs (based in Chaicago, USA) has published an e-book ‘The Introvert’s Guide’, (She is also CEO of C-Level Strategies Inc, Visionary Leadership Connoisseur & Adviser). So you have help available and India/developing countries will follow this trend soon.

Here are some of the characteristics and strengths of introverts, described by Susan in her book (with supportive evidence and research). 

If you read them carefully you will realise what Susan means when she says, “The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.” :-




  • Recharge their batteries by being alone (more likely to meditate and do self-reflection)
  • Drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling.
  • Listen more than they talk, think before they speak and often feel that they express themselves better in writing than speaking.
  • Likely to be creative, patient and persevering
  • High reactive, prone to worry and live in their heads
  • Excellent artists, writers, scientists and thinkers (I would add Consultants and coaches).
  • Good at observing self and others.
  • Good at focused complex problem solving
  • Philosophical or spiritual in their orientation
  • Highly empathetic.
  • Do not like small talk
  • More likely to feel guilty because of sensitivity
  • Passion for thought and attention to subtlety
  • Good at predicting trends and future
  • Have more determination and give attention to detail
  • More likely to be driven by inner reward (passion and satisfaction) than outer rewards.
  • More likely to focus on their own instincts and have less of herd mentality.
  • Likely to focus more on substance than style.
  • Don’t like to attend to many people at once (e.g. partying)
  • Like serious discussions and not very fond of casual talk.
  • Tend to have one or two deep interests and passions.
  • Have good concentration and insight
  • Good at strategizing and spotting problems
  • In my opinion, good at collaborating and creating win-win situations
In the era of digital/social media introverts have an edge over extroverts when it comes to getting mega success by building online brands due to their perseverance, passion and patience. So, don’t force yourself to become an extrovert (or your children for that matter) because the age of the introverts has approached.




Interestingly Susan also points out “Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love or anything they value highly.” The introverts only become the Einsteins and Gandhis. Einstein who was an introvert, once said, “It’s not that I am so smart. It’s that I stay with problems longer.”

My Experiences and Observations

In my view, Introverts have few advantages over extroverts when it comes to networking with people. Some of them include:-

1) Introverts believe in deeper relationships, so they take networking to the next level or 'Bonding'.
2) They are more sensitive, which means they end up building better and closer relationships.
3) They are usually soft spoken, they do not appear as threats, and therefore face less opposition.
4) They like to take a deeper dive in discussions too, so they end up spotting more opportunities for collaboration.

Their initial career paths can be slower because of conscientiousness and lack of pushiness. Many of my clients have reported "introversion" tendencies and I have shared inspiring success stories with them..

So my dear introvert friend, are you ready to come out of the closet?

“Finland is a famously introvert nation and there is a joke in Finland, “How do you know, if a Finnish likes you. He is staring at your shoes instead of his own.”

Recommended Read
Assertiveness-Why, When & How
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Brief Profile

Dr Amit Nagpal, PhD is a Business Storyteller, Keynote Speaker and Digital Storytelling Coach. He is one of the pioneers of digital storytelling in India. After working for more than two decades in academics, and corporates (including publishing, television and digital marketing), he realised teaching is meditation and storytelling is his Nirvana.

He is also Chief Inspirational Storyteller at AL Services. AL Services has co-created stories of some of the most inspiring people in India and abroad. He tweets at @DrAmitInspires. To connect / follow on social media, visit about.me
To know more, write to amit@dramitnagpal.com

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