AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Guy Kawasaki Presents- The Art of Innovation at TEDxBerkeley

Posted by A. Kaye. on July 22, 2014


Attending the TEDx talks have always been a career dream of mine and finally I had the pleasure of attending one in Berkeley, California. The TEDxBerkeley features live speakers (world thinkers, authors, entrepreneurs, etc.) who spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. My favorite talk today was by Guy Kawasaki.

photo 1 (6)Guy Kawasaki– An author, technology evangelist, venture capitalist presented a talk on “The Art of Innovation”. With a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA and experience that spans from Google to Apple Guy is perfectly qualified to give this talk.

His style of presenting is amusing, funny and full of anecdotes that draws his audience in. He takes his time to explain concepts and slides in a joke whenever he can. Before long he was describing the 10 (+1) Steps towards the Art of Innovation.

1. Making Meaning is greater than Making Money: To be an innovator to need to have the vision to change the world, and making meaning= changing the world. Making money alone will not give you the vision to change the world. You can make money after you’ve made meaning while changing the world.

2.  Create a Mantra: A mantra explains why you exist and contains 2 or 3 strong words. Take for example, Nike their mantra is “Authentic Athletic Performance” and their mission- “Just Do It”. He mentions how companies should have missions which promote Leadership, Innovation and Participation.

3. Jump to the next Curve: This is all about perspective. Great innovation occurs when you jump to the next curve and surpass all limitations. It is important to move from your current position and jump the next curve to be innovative.


4. Roll the Dice: The 5 elements of great innovation- Deep, Complete, Empowering (allows you to be more powerful, productive and creative) and Elegant (a sense of caring).383-roll-the-dice_800x6002


5. Don’t worry, be crappy: He advises innovators to not wait or wish for a perfect world before they start the process of innovation. It is okay to have elements of “crapiness” as successful brands all go through a “crappy” stage.

6. Let 100 flowers blossom: Before you start the process of creating, you might have a list of people you would want to use your product and how they should use it. Guy advises against this. He says you should pay more attention to positioning and branding and whatever your target audience say your product is, that is what it is. Do not be proud, let your audience guide you.

7. Polarize People: Your innovation might not please anyone. Don’t be afraid to piss people off, make it your motivation that you did something right.

8. Churn Baby Churn: An innovator needs to be ever-evolving. Having a successful product that has taken off should not hinder you from evolving that product. Criticism helps in the evolving 2 (5)

9. Niche Yourself: It is important to have a niche audience. But to be innovative you have to make sure your product is unique and valuable (compete with price). Products like Fandango and Smart car are examples of the very few products who are lucky enough to be both unique and valuable.

10. Perfect your pitch: This comes in two parts. Part 1- As an innovator when pitching your product it is very important to know your audience. Start with a story that your audience will gravitate towards. It can be something culturally friendly. Once you start with that and you break the ice you will own your audience. Part 2- Follow the 10- 20- 30 rule. Your presentation should have 10 slides, it should take 20 minutes and have 30 point size font.

Kawasaki added an extra point to the Art of Innovation-

11. Don’t let the Bozos grind you down: There are 2 kinds of Bozos; the first kind that are not dangerous because they are losers and are not worth listening to. The second kind- the dangerous ones are rich and famous only because they are lucky, but they are definitely not smart. Kawasaki says you need to be exposed to the “bozosity” to help us grow. But it is important to spot them and weed them out.

The wonderful thing about these TEDx talks is, right after the presentation the videos are made available online. For the full presentation click HERE.

The talk was enlightening and very interesting, Guy Kawasaki is an excellent orator and I am a true fan. Such a wonderful experience.

~A. Kaye.


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