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Guy Kawasaki Needs Links

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The WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference kicked off with a short introduction to the conference by Brett Tabke and an opening keynote by Guy Kawasaki.

Apparently Guy really wants links as he sandwiched his very thoughtful and humorous presentation with requests for links so he can bosst his Technorati ranking. Apparently he’s been hovering at around 46 and wants to hit the top ten.

He started off describing his backround working with Apple and Steve Jobs and very enthusiastic slant towards all things Mac. HIs recent book, Art of the Start is a best seller and serves as an interesting lead-in to his presentation, “The art of innovation”.

Started was late to the blogging game starting in January 2006 but now spends 3-4 hours per day on his blog. “If I spent as much time on venture capital as blogging, I’d be filthy rich.”

Top 10 things Guy Kawasaki has learned about innovation:

1. People who innovate have a pure motivation. “Make meaning”. If you focus on starting a company to make money rather than creating meaning, you’ll attract the wrong kinds of VCs.

He gives and example of Nike shoes – It’s not cotton, leather and rubber, it’s something that has meaning

2. Make a mantra – why do you exist?
This is commonly done at a company via a mission statement. Gives a humorous example of a 2 day executive retreat (kumbaya).

Example mantras:
Wendy’s: “Healthy, fast food”
Nike: “Authentic althletic performance”
Fedex: “Peace of mind”
eBay: “Democratizes commerce”

Why should your innovation exist? That’s what your mission statement should be, In fact, forget mission statement, it’s all about a mantra.

3. Jump to the next curve or the next level of innovation.
Example: The next innovation for a daisy wheel printer should be a laser printer, not an ugraded daisy wheel.

4. Roll the DICE which is an acronym for:

Deep: Fanning sandals that have a beer bottle opener in the sole
Intelligent: BF 104 Flashlight – takes 3 different sizes of batteries
Completeness: Lexus GS Hybrid. All the ancillary services and community around the product are make up completeness, not the product by itself.
Elegancs – Design
Emotive – Harley Davidson
What Guy really seems to be talking about is brand, although he does not ever use that word in the presentation.

5. Don’t worry be crappy
Joke: We ship and then we test. Welcome to Vista!

Ship revolutionary product, which might be crappy because it’s new, it’s revolutionary. This should cause some interesting reaction.

6. Polarize people: Examples:
Macintosh
Harley Davidson
Tivo He has 3 Tivos.
Toyota Scion

Create products that appeal greatly to some people and ignore the rest.

7. Let a hundred flowers blossom – Chairman Mao
“People we did not anticipate are buying our product in large numbers”
Take your best shot at who your best customer is. Then “plant fields of flowers” to see what takes root. You never know what will take root or what groups will respond.

Gives iTunes example – It’s keeping Apple alive.

Ask your customers why they like your product and give them more reasons. Don’t bother with people who will likely never be one of your customers.

8. Churn baby churn
Issue versions with continual updates/improvements – version 1, 2, 3, etc. Listen to users’ feedback and make updates.

9. Niche thyself
Shows a two by two matrix with ability to provide a unique product or service as the vertical axis and value to the customer the horizontal axis. Your goal? High and to the right! (I know I should have taken a photo, but I was too far away.)

High volume low margin (Lower Right)
No value, but you have a monopoly (Upper Left)
Dotcom mentality – Dogfood pets.com (Lower Left)
Fandango – buy movie tickets online bypass lines at theatre (Upper Right)
Breitling Emergency Watch – Innovative life saving watch
Smart Car – Can park perpendicularly

10. Follow the 10, 20, 30 rule for PPT presentations (pitching)

The optimal number of slides is 10
You should be able to get through 10 slides in 20 minutes
The ideal font is 30 points

11. Don’t let the bozos grind you down
2 kinds of bozos:
- The slovenly bozo with no credibility
- The successful bozo, which is the most dangerous since people tend to believe them.

Examples of “dangerous bozosity”:
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”
Western Union dismissed the telephone in 1876
“It’s too far to drive and I don’t see how it can be a business” Guy’s reply to an offer to be CEO of Yahoo. He says it cost him $2bn.

Says he made the right decision for his family – but the problem with the retro active rationalization, is that it only explains the first billion – it’s the second billion that still pisses him off.

Don’t let the bozos grind you down, especially the successful ones.

Guy makes another impassioned plea for links and wraps it up.

Overall, this was an entertaining keynote as it should have been. It seems to me the more entertaining a presentation is, the less the audience is concerned with “takeaways”. That plus the 10,20, 30 rule are things I’ll be sure to consider for my presentation on Thursday.

Update: I had to run to an interview and forgot to link to Guy’s blog, “How to change the world“. Hey, Guy did a good job, he deserves a link.

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Lee Odden is President and Founder of
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Guy Kawasaki Needs Links
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About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations firm in Minnesota that specializes in search, social and online PR consulting and training for companies worldwide. Odden has been cited for his internet marketing expertise over the past 10 years by the Economist, Forbes and U.S. News and contributed a chapter to the book, "Online Marketing Heroes" published by Wiley. For the past 5 years he has also been the editor of TopRank's Online Marketing Blog, a Technorati 100 favorite blog and one of the top marketing blogs according to Advertising Age. WebProNews Writer
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