AU MA Social Media

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Guy Kawasaki Opens up TEDxBerkely: The Art of Innovation

Posted by siru90 on July 22, 2014

 maxresdefault TEDx-logo

I have the privilege today of attending Guy Kawasaki’s presentation at TEDxBerkely 2014: “Rethink. Redefine. Recreate.” Previously, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. Presently, he is the chief evangelist of Canva.

As always, Mr. Kawasaki is extremely humorous and entertaining. He opens up the TEDx talk with a small joke of his wife’s remarks on “wildest dream” and the talk smoothly flows to the theme “The Art of Innovation”. Mr. Kawasaki’s speech is built around 12 major points summarized from his personal experiences and observations. He also intends to “pass on” these 12 steps so we can “change the world”. The following are the 12 steps for you to initiative your own innovations.

1. Make Meaning. Mr. Kawasaki mentions that innovation should start off with making meaning instead of making money. According to Mr. Kawasaki, making meaning means “changing the world” and if you are changing the world, you probably are making money. He suggests us to determine how we can make meaning by using the examples of Apple’s meaning of democratizing computers, Google’s meaning of democratizing information and Ebay’s meaning of democratizing commerce.

2. Make Mantra. He points out that instead of making a mission statement, companies should make mantras. Mr. Kawasaki gives the audience an anti-example of Wendy’s to prove his point. The mission statement of Wendy’s is “to deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation and partnerships.” He suggests that the mantra of Wendy’s should be “healthy fast food”. He also recommends that mantra should be simple consisting of preferably two or three words.

3. Jump Curves. According to Mr. Kawasaki, it is a matter of perspectives. Revolutionary innovations do not occur when you bring similar ideas to the field. Success calls for radical jump from the “same stupid” curve you are on to the next curve.

4. Roll the Dicee. Great innovations are deep (fanning sandals with beer bottles openers. Yes, that’s right.), intelligent (Mykey programming the top speed of the car to the key), complete (totality of the product), empowering (making you more creative and powerful) and elegant (giving wonderful user experience).

5. Don’t worry, Be Crappy. It means after you jump to the next curve, it is completely okay to have revolutionary innovations that have different elements of crappiness to them.

6. Let 100 Flowers Blossom. Mr. Kawasaki mentions that positioning and branding ultimately depends on customers which are highly possible not the ones you anticipate at the start of innovation. You should focus on your customers and how they use your products.

7. Polarize People. Great products, services and innovations polarize people. You can love and hate TiVo, Macintosh and iPhone. You should not be afraid of polarizing people.

8. Churn Baby Churn. To be a successful innovator or entrepreneur, you should be “in denial” and ignore the naysayers’ words that something can’t be done. However,once the products reach the hand of customers, you need to start listening to their feedbacks.

9. Niche Thyself.  He shows a simple X-Y graph, with the four quadrants mapping the variables “Uniqueness” and “Value.” As an innovator or entrepreneur, you should find your quadrant, your position or your niche to create the products or services.

10. Perfect Your Pitch. In order to do that, you should start with knowing who your audience are and then customize the introduction of your pitch.

11. Follow the 10-20-30 Rule. It means no more than 10 PowerPoint slides, a limit of 20 minutes for the pitch, and using a 30-point font size in the presentation (to keep it simple).

12. Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down. Innovator and entrepreneurs should believe in yourselves and never let the “smart” people shot you down. To emphasize the importance of it, Mr. Kawasaki shows the audience of some famous “bozosity”. For instance, Xen Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corp said in 1977 that “There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.”

As Mr. Kawasaki finishes his speech, the audience burst into applause.


To learn more about Guy Kawasaki and his works, please visit

the slides Guy Kawasaki used for his speech at TEDXBerkeley 2014 are available on

To learn more about TEDx, please visit



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