AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Guy Kawasaki Talks about the Art of Innovation at TEDxBerkeley

Posted by Amanda(Yueqi)Zhou on July 22, 2014

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online design tool. He is a former chief evangelist of Apple and a former advisor to Google.

Tonight, Mr. Kawasaki gave a speech about the art of innovation at TedxBerkley. During the 20-minute speech, Kawasaki often made fun of himself and his families. He confessed that he never appeared in his wife’s wildest dream.


To make the speech straightforward and traceable, Kawasaki gave 11 key steps toward being innovative.

1. Make Meaning Rather Than Make Money

If one starts by making money, it is very likely that he cannot meet this purpose at last. However, if one starts by making meaning through innovation, it is possible for him to change the world as well as make money. Companies like Apple and Google changed the world and make money by making meaning through their innovation.

2. Make Mantra

A mantra consists of two or three words. The second step toward innovation is creating a mantra justifying the existence of your meaning. For example, Wendy’s mantra should be “Healthy fast food” and Nike’s mantra should be “Authentic athletic performance”.

3. Jump to the Next Curve

Kawasaki said this step is a matter of perspective. He urged people not to stay on the current curve and not to think about making existing products better. Instead, he said one should always think about how to jump into the next curve so as to be innovative.

4. Roll the Dice

In this section, he mentioned five elements of great innovation: 1. Deep; 2. Intelligent; 3. Complete; 4. Empowering; 5. Elegant.

5. Don’t Worry about Being Crappy

Being innovative does not mean being perfect. When you create a completely new product, it is common that it needs improving and has lots of defects. What you should do is to accepting its crappiness and work to improve it, instead of waiting for a perfect world.

6. Let 100 Flowers Blossom

You may have your ideas of who will use your products and how your products will be used, but the truth is sometimes you may find your products are used in an unexpected way. Let customers determine your branding and positioning.

7. Polarize People

Even great innovative products cannot please everyone. So don’t be afraid that someone will hate your products.

8. Churn

When you start innovation, you need to listen to people and keep changing your products.

9. Niche Thyself

To market your products, you need to measure your products by its uniqueness and value.


10. Perfect your pitch

In terms of pitching, one should first know his audience and then customize information and format of the pitch so as to make it appealing. He said he is going to start a pitch in Russia by mentioning the big balls in the following picture.


11. Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down 

Sometimes famous and influential people will doubt the value of an innovation but don’t let this bring you down. Even Thomas Watson, former chairman of IBM, once mistakenly analyzed the situation of computer market. He said in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

You can watch the YouTube video to learn more about this speech.



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