Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Art of Innovation

Today's keynote was from Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple.

He talked about the art of innovation, from his perspective of working with innovative companies such as Apple and Google, and as a venture capitalist. It was an excellent talk, the best so far at the conference, and I wouldn't do justice to it by blogging about it in detail. It was recorded, and hopefully will be on line soon so I'll post a link to it. He gave us top ten lessons to be successful in innovation, and illustrated each one with beautiful stories. Sometimes moving, sometimes funny. I'll just list the lessons so you get a feel for what he spoke about.

1 Make meaning, not just money.
Desire to make the world a better place. You'll probably also then make money.

2 Make mantra
Not a mission statement!
Two or three words.
What is it you deliver. Describe your innovation in 3 words that everyone understands.

3 Jump to the next curve,
Innovation is always at the next curve, not the one you're on.
Step back and define yourself not by what you do, but by the benefit you provide. Example of ice factory. Non of them became refrigerator factories.
Good example of curve jumping companies, Uber, airbnb, task rabbit

4 Make great products.
great products are smart, intelligent,complete, empowering and elegant.

5 Don't worry, be crappy
It's ok to ship a product if there's element of crappiness in it, if it's still better than what was before

6 Let 100 flowers blossom
See what happens.
Example of Apple with the Macintosh. It was including desktop publishing which made it a success, not the standard software on offer on PCs.
Or Avon and their Skin so soft product, designed to moisturise skin, but now sold mainly as an insect repellent
Let the market decide.

7 Polarise people
Some people will hate things, whilst others love them.
Great products polarise people. Apple good example. Great products produce emotions

8 Churn baby churn
To be an innovator you have to be in denial. Ignore people who tell you it won't work. Then flip to listen to people when you have a product. And then improve it

9 Niche thyself
Need to be unique and high value.

10 Perfect your pitch
Innovators have to pitch, for funding, partnerships,
Customise your introduction. Show you know your audience.

Follow the Kawasaki rule of PowerPoint
Limit slides to 10.
Talk for no more than 20 mins
Optimal point size is 30

11 Don't let the Bozos grind you down
If someone tells you you'll fail, you might. But if you don't try, you'll never know.

As I said, great talk, and I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards and get a signed copy of his book.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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