Monday, July 9, 2012

Guy Kawasaki: 12 Lessons from Steve Jobs

Guy Kawasaki spoke at Silicon Valley Bank's CEO Summit on October 6, 2011.  It was shortly after the passing of Steve Jobs.  Guy got on the stage to talk about 12 lessons that he learned from working for Steve Jobs.

1. Experts are clueless.
2. Customers can't tell you what they need.
3. Biggest challenges beget the best work.
4. Design Counts.
5. Big graphics, big fonts.
6. Jump curves, not better sameness.
7. "It works" or "doesn't work", that's all that matters.
8. Value is different from price.
9. A Players hire A Players.
10. Real CEOs can demo.
11. Real entrepreneurs ship.
12. Some things need to be believed to be seen.

What resonated with me the most was #6.  Guy Kawasaki gave an example of how ice harvester got out innovated by ice factories, and how ice factories got out innovated by refrigerator manufacturers.  If you are in business of harvesting ice during winter time, shipping them to customers, you would not have survived ice factories where ice was frozen anytime anywhere in a factory and got distributed to local customers.  If you are in business of ice factory, you could not have survived introduction of personal ice machines.

When innovating, you have to look at how to make things 10 times better, not 10% better.  Incremental improvements will force you to fight feature wars with competitors, and compete on lower price point.  Instead focus on how to "jump curves" and create new category.

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