AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

TEDxBerkeley: Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of Innovation”

Posted by chelseatufarolo on July 22, 2014

Guy Kawasaki speaking at Zellerbach Hall (Source:

Guy Kawasaki speaking at Zellerbach Hall (Source:

At the fifth TEDxBerkeley, which focused on the theme “Rethink. Redefine, Recreate.,” Guy Kawasaki opened with a Talk on “The Art of Innovation.” Kawasaki, through his lengthy tech-based resume, passed on his list of the top ten (or rather, eleven) tips for implementing innovation:
1. Make Meaning (As opposed to making money): If you start off with the intention of wanting to change the world, you will make meaning. Many successful examples (Apple, Google, EBay, and YouTube) all started with meaning before giving way to innovation.
2. Make Mantra: Create a 2-3 word explanation that justifies why you exists. Don’t make a mission statement—make a mantra. Decide on simple, straightforward meaning and then explain. Think “Peace of Mind” for FedEx or  “Authentic athletic performance” for Nike.
3. Jump To The Next Curve (Don’t stay on the stupid curve that you’re on): Try to do things 10% better. The success of Microsoft did not come from creating a slightly better Apple 2.0 but instead starting something entirely differently. Companies define themselves by what they do and not what they provide.
4. Roll the Dice (Five Great Qualities Of Innovation): 1) Deep (features, functionality) 2) Intelligent 3) Complete 4) Empowering (Make you creative, powerful, productive) 5) Elegant (Someone cared about the user interface)
5. Don’t Worry, Be Crappy: When you have the first of something, whether it be a refrigerator, Apple, etc., there will be elements of crappiness. When you have jumped to the next curb (see #3), there will be elements of crappiness. Don’t let this stop you.
6. Let 100 Flowers Blossom: Don’t be proud. People are going to use your product in ways you did not anticipate. Take your best shot at positioning and branding, but ultimately it comes down to what the consumer decides.
7. Polarize People: Make consumers feel strongly about something. People LOVE TiVo, but people also vehemently hate it. Great products polarize people. Don’t intentionally piss people off, but don’t be afraid to polarize.
8. Churn, Baby Churn: Innovators need to change and evolve their product.
9. Niche Thy Self: Imagine a 2×2 matrix with Uniqueness on the vertical axis and Value on the horizontal axis. Find a balance between these two and avoid these corners of the matrix: great value/unoriginal; unique/ not valuable and  not valuable/unoriginal.
10. Perfect Your Pitch: 1) Customize your introduction: start with something customized to the audience. 2) Follow 10, 20, 30 Rule of Presentations: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30-point font.

Kawasaki, despite forgoing his own 10 slide rule, ended his Talk at around 20 minutes and closed with a final, bonus, bit of advice:
11. Don’t Let The Bozos Grind You Down: There are two types of Bozos: 1) Sloppy, loser of a person that only another loser will listen to 2) Well dressed individual, possibly perceived as rich and famous, even if he or she is not smart. Regardless of which kind you encounter, you need to be exposed to such people to understand they are not a threat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: