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April 24, 2007

Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Innovation

Listening to Guy Kawasaki speaking on the Art of Innovation at the 2007 MySQL Conference. Guy worked for Steve Jobs as the Macintosh software evangelist from 84 to 87 (in the Macintosh division) trying to help people build software. Apple II was making all of the money and Mac spending it all.

Guy is now a VC, trying to find folks running great companies in their garage.

Top 10 format for being innovative:

  1. Make meaning. The greatest motivator. Steve Wozniak was motivated by the desire to change the world. Do not tell VCs you want to "make money." You attract the wrong kind of people. [cool Nike ad about woman and how she is measured]
  2. Make a mantra (not a mission statement). A mission statement is made at a fancy hotel with a golf course. It will take 2 days, facilitated by an outside consultant who is hired because no upper-management can communicate. 1st day is building team with physical exercises. 2nd day 60 people are in attendance and each person. [shows the Wendy's mission statement] A mantra is the reason you exist. Nike is "Authentic athlentic performance", Wendy's is "Healthy fast food". To generate a mission statement go to the Dilbert Mission Statement generator.
  3. Get to the next curve - don't just think in terms of the next increment of your product, think how to get onto the future curve of that
  4. Role the DICEE. Deep (shows the Reef sandal that has a bottle opener). Inntelligent (shows Panasonic flashlight that takes three sizes of battery). Complete (shows Lexus with support). Elegant (iPod nano). Emotive (Harley Davidson - nobody feels neutral to HD, you have a feeling about them).
  5. Don't worry, be crappy. If it is relevant it is OK to be crappy. The original Mac was pretty crappy when it came to interaction with other folks and expense. Ship and then test. Don't ship total crap, ship stuff that has elements of crappiness but has jumped the curve.
  6. Polarize people. Don't be afraid to. TiVo is an example. Advertisers hate them.
  7. Let a hundred flowers blossom. Be happy that people not in your target audience are buying. Ask them why and give them more reasons. Apple might have died back in the 80s because they were totally focused on spreadsheets. PageMaker came along and saved them.
  8. Churn, baby, churn. Do not keep shipping the same crappy stuff...keep upgrading your versions.
  9. Niche yourself. You want to be high and to the right on your graph, but the axis has to be labelled correctly. "Ex-Google employees" on the vertical and "driving German cars" on the horizontal is not a good graph to be on the right. The vertical should be "unique product or service", the horizontal should be "value to customer." A few examples are the Smart Car, LG Kimchi Refridgerator.
  10. Follow the 10/20/30 rule for pitching. 10 minutes for setup, leave 20 minutes for discussion, 30 point font.
  11. Don't let the bozos grind you down. One bozo is a smelly slob that tells you it can't be done. Tell them they are a loser. The more dangerous bozo is rich and famous, supposedly smart person that tells you it can't be done. Guy was the latter kind of bozo. He turned down a job as CEO of Yahoo! when they were just starting. Could have been worth $1B now. He didn't see that it was on the next curve of technology.

Read Guy's blog.

Posted by mike at April 24, 2007 9:55 AM