Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Guy Kawasaki on The Art of Starting Innovation

I was watching Guy Kawasaki's talk on the "Art of Start", and also the one on the "Art of Innovation"...

The Art of Innovation is a speech for any stage of company that is trying to create and marketing innovative products and services. The Art of the Start is for the startup stage--but for anyone starting anything.
Both of them had a lot of overlap... But I watched both anyways, cos Guy is a fun speaker. I like how he is cheerful and funny, and most of all he's comfortable being casual and "himself".

I've taken notes on them and combined them into "the Art of Starting Innovation".

Why start a company?
Make Meaning
- Increase the quality of life.
- Right a wrong.
- Prevent the end of something good.
(basically SOLVE an ACTUAL problem!)

When pitching to VCs tell them what meaning you are trying to make...

Too many people start a company "to make money"... They don't realise that almost all big successful companies were started to make meaning...

Microsoft wanted to put a desktop in every home... all the billions of dollars are just a happy side effect of that. Google wants to organise the worlds information. They're doing pretty well. Facebook started as a simple way for college students to keep in touch...

Make meaning... solve a problem.

Make a Mantra!
A short simple line that encapsulates the essence of your "meaning"...
3 or 4 words long... like...
Wendy's - "Healthy Fast Food"
FedEx - "Peace of mind."
Nike - "Authentic athletic performance"
Target - "Democratize design"

Jump the next curve
Don't do better sameness... Rather than 10% better... Go for 10 times better!
Change the playing field altogether.
eg. Amazon with Kindle!
- Think different!
- Find a few soul mates...

Build a business model...
- Be specific
You should be able to answer clearly...
"Who is my customer? How do i get MY money from her purse?"
- Keep it simple

Weave a MAT
- Just get going!
Ready, Fire! Ok, now aim, and keep firing!
- Come up with Milestones..
- Assumptions of the company (whats the sales cost? customer ROI?... write them down and test them)
- Task (achieve milestones / test assumptions)


Don't worry, be crappy
Release early and get your product out in the hands of customers as soon as possible. Don't worry about putting in all the finishing touches possible.

Write a business plan, and then forget about it. The exercise of writing it down will help clarify your thoughts, but once you're out in the real world, the customers, and their feedback will shape your product/business.

Niche thyself!

Create a product that is unique and of great value...
And convince the customer that its true.

Great Value, Not Unique : Compete on price (Dell)
No Value, Unique : Stupid!
No Value, Not Unique : Very Stupid! (eg. selling dog food online during the dotCom boom)
Great Value, Unique : eg. Online movie ticket booking.

Polarize people...
Great products polarize ppl! Dont be mediocre!

Follow the 10/20/30 rule for Presentations.
- 10 slides
Title
Problem
Solution
Business Model
Underlying Magic
Marketing and Sales
Competition
Team
Projections
Status and Time line
- 20 mins
- Smallest font is 30 point.

Hire infected people
Work experience, educational background, infected with love for the product.
Hire better than yourself!
Hire only those people that you see the first time and want to go up and talk to them, hire them...

Lower barriers to Adoption
- Flatten the learning curve
- Don't ask people to do something you wouldn't do...
- Embrace your evangelists

Seed the Clouds!
- Let a hundred flowers blossom (people use our products differently)
- Enable test drives
- Find the true influencer's
- Listen to user feedback and let it mold your product.


Don't let the bozos tie you down!
- Loser bozos : Useless pessimistic good for nothing killjoys. They'll always say your idea sucks.
- Venture Capital/Industry expert bozo : Lots of supposedly smart people get things wrong.
eg. Almost everyone thought that wikipedia was one of the stupidest ideas of all time...

Don't let bozo's bring you down. Keep the faith.

It's an amazing time to be an entrepreneur! Get started already!

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