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Guy Kawasaki sums up Innovation…

Guy KawasakiI find it hard to add further comment to Guy Kawasaki’s presentation at Cisco Live. He sums up the difference between delivering a product to market, and delivering the product. For those who don’t know of Guy, he’s an ex Apple fellow, and an author of books such as The Macintosh Way and How to Drive Your Competition Crazy. You can find his Blog online where he comments widely on Apple, social media, energy and all kinds of interesting things. He’s now involved in matchmaking entrepreneurs and angel investors, and public speaking. For Guy, innovation means deep, intelligent, complete and elegant (DICE).

The take away I want to highlight is his message that you have anticipated what people need before they known they need it. Something that in my opinion is best served by gut feeling, industry experience and deep thought – not by asking an analyst what you should do.

To be truly great, and to be truly innivotive, you need to take some chances and push the envelope..

What makes innovation? First quality of innovation is that the product is deep, lots of features, does lots of stuff. You have anticipated what people need before they know they need it. They will not run out of power. Great products, great services are deep.

This is an example of a deep product. This is a fanning sandal made by Reef. Every sandal in the world has one primary function, protect your feet. This sandal has twice the functionality. That area that circle that’s the middle clip, the purpose of that metal clip is to open beer bottles.

This sandal has twice the functionality and depth of any other sandal in the world.

I is for intelligence. Great products, great services when you look at it you say wow somebody was thinking. Somebody was thinking. Somebody is solving my pain.

A lot of you are using these flips, those minnows, right. Somebody was thinking. Somebody said well people want a cheap HD video device that basically no cables USB device, you stick it in, you don’t have to think about it, there’s basically one button, you turn it on, boom, you are done, right.

Panasonic. Panasonic looked at people’s homes and said, wow, like my house? We have lots of batteries. We have a frigging jar full of batteries with lots of flashlights. None of which work because there’s no batteries for them. Why is that? Because the flashlights that we have don’t take the size batteries that we have. Panasonic figured out that’s a problem.

So they created a flashlight that takes three sizes of battery.Triples the probability that you have the right size battery.

C stands for complete. Great products are complete. Great services are complete. When you buy a Lexus, you are not merely buying the steel and the glass and the rubber and the leather. You are buying the totality of the experience. When you buy great software it’s not just the digital download, or the DVD or the cable it came on, it’s the documentation, it’s the online forum, it’s the online support. It’s the string of enhancements, it’s all the good stuff. Great products are complete.

And the last thing E. Great products and services are elegant and beautiful. People care about the user interface. So when you go home, and you whip out the notes for this session, remember I want to you jump curves. But ask yourself are we creating something that’s deep, intelligent, complete and elegant?

Because those are the four primary qualities of something that is successfully jumping curves. Roll the dice.

I’m proud to say that SafeBoot Corp, my previous company lived and breathed by the premise of deep, intelligent, complete and elegant. As proved by our meteoric success.

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  1. dlarson
    July 13, 2009 at 12:22

    I have to disagree with this statement: First quality of innovation is that the product is deep, lots of features, does lots of stuff.

    The reef sandals only have two features; that’s not “lots”. The iPod has half the features of its competitors (for example, it lacks FM radio) … but it has a compelling set of “right” features. I guess that’s where the C and E come in. 🙂

    I think the “I” could also stand for “insight”. That’s the difference between knowing something, and knowing something valuable.

  2. Simon Hunt
    July 13, 2009 at 12:28

    True the reef only has one more feature than every other sandal, but that’s still 100% improvement in the feature list eh? Give me an example of another sandal which has a feature set other than as footwear?

    I agree though that insight and intelligence are intrinsically linked. Insight helps you separate what you could do, from what you should do.

  3. jpautz
    July 15, 2009 at 14:08

    Simon,
    I have to agree with Dan on this. While the reef sandal has twice as many features as a normal sandal, I wouldn’t call it a 100% improvement. I can’t think of a single time I have thought to myself, “Man I wish I could use my sandal to open my beer”. So if you have a feature that isn’t used is it really an “improvement”. My IBM R40 laptop can also be used as a boat anchor, is that an improvement?
    Now if the sandal would remind me to take my keys, or cellphone out of my pocket before getting in the water, that would be an improvement.
    As far as the Panasonic example, it seems to me that Panasonic would have been better off to develop a flashlight that used no batteries. Because, let’s be honest, we all know that Murphy’s law would come into play, and the batteries for the flashlight will always be dead when you need them.

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