Guy Kawasaki knows innovation. He’s an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, former Apple fellow, columnist, and author. His blog is one of the fifty most popular in the world and his second to last book, “Art of the Start”, is widely acclaimed. In his latest book, “Reality Check”, Guy warns against pursuing fads and foolishness in the business world. I agree.
Innovation. What does that really mean? We’re constantly being told to seek innovation, to be innovative. But what tangible steps or measurements can you take to achieve this? Guy understands the frustration and has devised a way to help you.
“More often than not, an individual will attend a conference or presentation and be blown away by the speaker. ‘Wow!’ they think. ‘That was really great, really unique.’ They probably take notes. But when they sit down to review those notes later, they’ve written down “be innovative”. Well YES. We all know we need to be innovative and we need to jump over curbs and smash barriers. But how do we actually do this?”
Guy created “DICEE” with the intent to answer that question. Each letter stands for a way to assess your product: is it deep, intelligent, complete, elegant, and emotive? These five qualities are reflective of innovation. If you can’t honestly answer that your product embraces these qualities, then it probably isn’t innovative.
Preparing for a presentation? Guy offered the following:
“It’s a lot easier to present a product that’s actually good. When I talk about ‘Guy’s golden touch’, I’m not trying to say that everything I touch turns to gold. But instead, whatever is gold I touch. Know what’s good and what’s not! And beyond that, cut to the chase. Focus on the “what” and the “how”, not the “why”. Most people aren’t interested in a long story about how your product came to be,” Guy explained.
And although Guy himself is actually quite funny, he warned against relying on humor to warm up a crowd.
“Most people want to be funny. They try to crack a joke. Don’t. I’ve seen too many people crash and burn after a failed joke. Their confidence is shot and they’re rattled. It isn’t worth it.”
Made a mistake? In the words of Guy, “If you can’t blow past it, highlight the hell out of it.” You’re probably the only one to recognize your mistake. But if you’ve really erred, and it’s obvious, call attention to it. Make light of it – it’s a lot better than the crowd believing you’re incompetent or senile.
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