ATLANTA - Preaching the art of innovation to Fresh Summit attendees who weren’t setting up their booths or recovering from the previous night, technology and social media evangelist Guy Kawasaki gave an eleven point plan for success at the Oct. 24 breakfast session.
Kawasaki, who was Apple Computer’s Macintosh software evangelist from 1983 to 1987, opened his speech recalling his days working with Steve Jobs, the now-deceased co-founder of Apple.
“Everything you heard and seen and read about Steve Jobs is true,” Kawasaki said. “He was a fantastic person, not easy to deal with, but a fantastic person,” he said. “I owe my career to him and I would not be here without Steve Jobs.”
Jobs, Kawasaki quipped, is now telling God what to do. “If you don’t like universe 1.0, stick around, because universe 2.0 is coming.”
Kawasaki said innovators need to:
- Make meaning: “If you start out with the sole purpose of making money, you frequently fail.”;
- Make a mantra to define that meaning, about why you exist; Not a mission statement, but a handful of words that communicate meaning. For example, Kawasaki’s mission statement is to “empower people” with speaking, writing, advising and investing.;
- Jump to the next curve: Like the refrigerator compared with the ice delivery truck, Kawasaki said “great innovation is finding the next curve, not (fighting) it out in the current version.” Companies who define themselves as what they do will fail, but companies who define themselves according to the benefits they provide consumers can succeed. “Ask yourself what is the next curve is in our business – what do your customers truly get from you and deliver that no matter what the mechanism.”;
- Rolling the “dicee”; D is for deep (multiple benefits); I is for intelligent; C is for complete (broad); E is empowering; and E is for elegant.;
- Don’t worry be crappy; “if you wait for the perfect world, you will never ship and the world will pass you by.” After you introduce an innovative product, then work on improving it;
- Let 100 flowers blossom; People you never anticipated may be your customers. Always take the money. “Find the people where your innovation is taking root and give them even more reasons to love you.” Kawasaki said most companies try to find people who aren’t buying their product, find out why they aren’t buying, and then try fixing it for them. Kawasaki said the Macintosh computer was originally designed to be a spreadsheet/database and word processing machine in the mid-1980s, but failed. However the machine was unexpectedly embraced for its desktop publishing capabilities; the flower that bloomed for Macintosh was desktop publishing.;
- Polarize people; Great innovation has the outcome of polarizing people; “If you are not on the radar, not a topic of discussion, that’s the worst.”;
- Churn baby churn: Once you ship, once you have jumped the curve, listen to your customers and work in improving the product;
- Provide uniqueness and value; “Something that is unique and valuable, that’s where the meaning and margin is.”;
- Perfect your pitch; you have to be good at communicating to pitch for capital, pitch for sales, pitch for approval, pitch for recruiting staff, pitch for partners. Customize your message to your audience and limit PowerPoint presentation to 10 slides and 20 minutes. Kawasaki urged use of a 30-point font for slides, with white text on black background; and
- Don’t let the bozos grind you down; Don’t let uninformed critics discourage you.
Concluding his remarks by taking a “selfie” with the audience, Kawasaki said, “Jump to the next curve and don’t let the bozos grind you down, those are the two most important concepts to the art of innovation.”