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The Art of Innovation: Guy Kawasaki at TedXBerkley

Posted by paulchronister on July 22, 2014

Tonight at TedxBerkely, entrepreneur, author, and tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki amused and enlightened the crowd with his humorous, yet insightful presentation on the steps everyone must take to be a key innovator.

Once the chief evangelist to Apple and Google, Kawasaki has been at the forefront of at some of the world’s greatest innovations, and in his presentation he distills the path to great innovation down to 10 essential steps.

Step 1 – Desire To Make Meaning over Making Money

 Kawasaki states that giving meaning to your innovation is the only way to change the world. If you start off any idea or innovation with the sole purpose to make money, your innovation won’ have any substantial meaning and will likely fail. Apple existed to bring the power computers to people’s home, Google formed to give information to everyone, e-bay formed to democratize commerce, and YouTube was established to enable people to share videos. By putting meaning over money, you have the possibility to innovate something great.

Step 2 – Make A Mantra

Throw out that obscure and frilly mission statement; make a mantra that says why you exist. With just 2 to 4 words explain why your meaning exists. Don’t obscure your message with excessive fluff and gobbledygook. Why does Nike exist? To enable their customers achieve “authentic athletic performance.”

Step 3 – Jump To The Next Curve

 Don’t just make a better version of what already exists, jump to the next curve and create something revolutionary and brand new. An innovator doesn’t gather and supply ice better by getting a shaper saw and waiting for the winter months to arrive, he build a fridge where people can get ice whenever they want it.

Step 4 – Elements of Great Innovation

 To achieve great innovation, your work must be deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant.

Step 5 – Don’t Worry, Be Crappy

When building a great innovation, things will never be perfect at first. It’s okay to have elements of crappiness throughout the evolution of your innovation.

Step 6 – Let 100 Flowers Blossom

Once you have established your product, don’t pigeonhole your product into the way you think people will use it. Let consumers decide how they want to use your product, or how they don’t want to use your product. From them you can learn how you can innovate your product further.

Step 7 – Polarize People

Just because some people will hate your innovation doesn’t mean that all others will. Some people will probably love it..

Step 8 – Churn, Baby, Churn

Once you have finished your innovation, build on it, then building on it some more to better reach the masses, including the naysayers.

Step 9 – Be Both Unique and Valuable

 For something to be innovative it must be both unique and valuable, not just be one or the other.

Step 10 – Perfect Your Pitch

Show that you know your audience or customers that you can connect with them. After you established your connection, follow the 10,20,30 rule in your presentation: have 10 slides, present in 20 minutes, and display your info in 30 point font.

Bonus Step – Watch Out For Bozos

 Identify and avoid the people that try to keep you down, and ultimately don’t let them drag you down. Strive to achieve your innovation, no matter what others say. One time, there was a man who had a dream of telling great stories. Once he was able to create and tell his stories, he was told they were complete crap and he was fired. That man was Walt Disney. Knowing Disney’s huge success, we can definitely see he did not let any bozos prevent him from attaining his dream.

Watch Guy Kawasaki’s Ted Talk below.


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