Former Apple Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki delivered a keynote on Wednesday at PSCU’s Member Forum. Here are his Top Ten Key Points on The Art of Innovation…
Make meaning: Great organizations want to make people’s lives better and make the world a better place. Apple has brought computing to everyone, Google has brought information to everyone. Figure out how your company can make meaning in people’s lives. That’s the DNA of innovation.
Jump to the next curve: Most people define themselves by what they already do. Consider the most important thing you provide to your members and change the way you deliver it to them. Don’t become the next Polaroid or Kodak. Get to the next curve.
Roll the DICEE: D is for depth. Be full featured and anticipate the needs of your members. I is for intelligent. Have intelligent ideas. In Germany, DHL will now deliver your packages to your car while you’re at work. No more missing deliveries that you’re not home to sign for. Plus, they can deliver 10 packages to 10 cars in one office lot instead of trying and failing to deliver those packages to 10 different houses. C is for complete. It’s not just the features of the product. It’s the support. It’s the dedication to innovation. It’s the totality of the experience of being a customer. The first E is for empowering. Great products and services empower you. You can use great products to empower your members. Great products can make you better, more powerful and productive. The second E is for elegant. Care about user interface and design.
Don’t worry, be crappy: Concentrate on creating revolutionary products. When you’re on the next curve, you don’t have to be perfect. In Silicon Valley, they ship and THEN they test.
Don’t be afraid to polarize people: Great products and services polarize people. People love or hate all the best products. Great innovation upsets some people and that’s okay. Either way you’re on their radar.
Don’t let the bozos grind you down: Stupid people will tell you that “it can’t be done” or “it shouldn’t be done.” You’ve got to learn to ignore those people. It’s easy to ignore the naysayers who are losers. Only losers listen to losers. It’s the winner bozos, the rich and famous naysayers, who are harder to ignore. But remember: rich and famous doesn’t equal smart.
Innovators change their mind: Many people believe that changing your mind is sign of weakness or stupidity. It’s quite the contrary. Apple originally closed off the iPhone to outside apps in 2007. The next year, they opened up the iPhone to outside apps and the rest is history. Don’t worry about admitting you were wrong. If Steve Jobs can admit that he’s wrong, so can you. Great innovators admit when they’re wrong and make a change.
All the marketing you ever need to understand: Provide your members with products that have value and are unique. One or the other isn’t enough. That’s the framework you should have for your marketing.
“Let 100 flowers blossom.”: This phrase is borrowed from Chairman Mao Zedong. At the start of great innovation, you take your best shot at branding and positioning and then see what happens. People you didn’t expect will respond for reasons you couldn’t have anticipated. Don’t let that bother you. Take the money. Skin So Soft wasn’t meant to be sold as an insect repellant, but that didn’t stop the sales.
Churn, baby, churn: It took Apple 30 years to get to the MacBook Pro. Innovation isn’t an event. It’s a process. Keep churning.