12 Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki



so before guy comes onstage let me give a brief introduction even though he doesn't really need it so guys probably one of the most storied figures in Silicon Valley over the least the last 20 years and I had the pleasure of meeting guy 13 years ago when he came to London I was working for a venture capital firm called 3i and 3i at the time was the biggest VC on the planet we had about a thousand staff worldwide and we're in a 13 story building and guy walks in it's like wow who worked on the rest of the floors it's like this is all three eyes like gee I've seen the future of venture capital now three eyes not in the venture capital business anymore so that was a defining moment for me as well but guy probably is most famous in recent years for working with Garage Technology Ventures and most of you may also know the guy was the technology evangelist for Apple so again personal connection with Steve Jobs and so with that I'd like to induce Guy Kawasaki thank you good morning good morning although arguably it's not a good morning because the passing of Steve Jobs has definitely left a large hole in the universe and I work for him from 1983 to 1995 1983 to 1987 and then from 1995 to 1997 I work for Apple again and just as he came back towards the end of 1997 so we overlapped again so arguably I'm one of the few people in the world who work for Steve Jobs twice and survived so it is a I consider it an honor to work for him he fundamentally changed my life he changed the lives of many Apple employees and he also changed life I think of many many people in the computer business in the phone business in the tablet business in many places in the music business so if you look at your agenda I'm supposed to give a speech today about how to enchant people how to be an enchanting person to change people's hearts minds and actions but because of Steve's death yesterday this morning I wrote at a completely new speech and so you're not going to see what's on the agenda I have a speech that's sort of dedicated to what I learned from Steve Jobs and I think the lessons of Steve Jobs that you can apply to your startups because fundamentally Steve was you know arguably the world's greatest CEO the world's greatest entrepreneur I don't think anybody did any more for his customers or shareholders or employees and Steve Jobs truly truly no one has done more so I have compiled the the top 12 lessons that I learned and that I think all of you can apply to your companies and so I have 12 key points usually I have 10 so there's a little bit of inflation in my speech I use the top 10 format because in the last two and a half decades I've seen so many high tech executives speak and I can tell you there are two key points about high tech speakers other than you of course the two key points are they suck and they go long and that's a bad combination you know you suck in your short it's okay and if you're good and you're go long it's okay but if you suck and go long it's like being stupid and arrogant it's a bad combination so these are my lessons that I learned from Steve Jobs and I think that you can apply as entrepreneurs so lesson number one experts are clueless if you start listening to these so-called experts the a-listers the journalists the analysts they cannot help you as entrepreneurs they're going to tell you to do better sameness to do what everybody else thinks is right they're going to tell you what their concept is often from a very arrogant point of view they're usually they're disconnected from customers I I cannot tell you Steve Jobs did not listen to experts quite the contrary experts listen to him and you could make the case that that's even more true today because of social media that with Twitter and Facebook and Google+ you can get so much closer to people so much faster that to listen to the interpretation of experts and the pronouncements of experts is an absolute mistake pretty much and I learned this from Steve I watched him in action experts are clueless especially people who declare themselves experts he meets someone who calls himself or herself a social media expert or guru that's the person to avoid okay as an entrepreneur you're going to have to figure stuff out by yourself don't rely on others so that's first thing second thing pretty much customers cannot tell you what they need if if we had asked customers in 1983 what they needed they would have said I need a bigger faster cheaper Apple too or I need a bigger faster cheaper ms-dos machine no one would have said give us the cute little graphics toy that was slow that had no software thanks to me that that couldn't couldn't use any of the industry standards which had a little mouse instead of cursor keys that had a graphical user interface with a trashcan in the lower right hand corner no one could have described that and so you can ask customers about how to evolve something that you've already shipped how to make a revolution better but I don't think you can ask a customer how to create a revolution because customers are going to describe what they want in terms of better cheaper ten percent improvement if you truly want to change the world if you truly want to be at a great entrepreneur you cannot listen to customers honestly I mean you know the day that you hear that apples using focus groups to decide on his future products that's the day too-short Apple stock I'll tell you right now customers cannot tell you what they need second thing the third thing is that you he's quite to the to perhaps people surprise what I learned in the Macintosh division working with those hundred or so other great people is that we rose to the occasion we did our best work in our careers because we were presented with the biggest challenge and so rather than trying to break things down into bite-size small little things I think you should give your employees and your co-founders magnificent challenges just huge challenges because that's truly why and how you get the best work out of people now if you ask an employee of Apple you know why do they put up with some what shall I say the challenges of working at Apple they will tell you that despite all the challenges the reason why they work at Apple is because Apple enables you to do the best work of your career and so if you provide your employees with this challenge a big challenge they will rise up and do the best work of their career so big challenges is what you should present next thing I learned is that design counts in a world where everybody's talking about price lots of people care about design lots of people do and this is something that's probably contrary to what most experts will tell you most experts will tell you there's a price point and people are price flex price sensitive and there's this you know curve of demand and I think to great degree Apple has disproved that design counts there is an element of people maybe it's only 10% of the people but 10% of the people truly care about design so you should care about design don't put out crap I have tried to enchant people with great stuff and I have tried to chant people with crap and let me tell you it is a lot easier to enchant people with great stuff than crap so you know don't think of human interface and design is simply a like a little layer on top of your great engineering algorithms for what it is it is the product for most people it's not the great algorithm it's the skin of it that's what counts design truly does count Steve Jobs has proven that five times Macintosh iPhone iPod iPad you could make the case that many other companies could have done what he did starting with Xerox PARC but let's face it you know Steve understood Steve had the vision Steve had this ability to anticipate what customers need before they could articulate it design counts next thing I learned is that in your presentations it's a very simple algorithm use big graphics and big font it's probably contrary to most of your PowerPoint pitches you're using eight ten or twelve right and you're going to read your slide and you're going to put up a competitive matrix and there's going to be your column and your competitors column and guess what your column is going to be completely checked off and your competitors column is going to be full of holes and that's going to be in an eight point font and no one can read it you know Steve Jobs puts up slides that have one word he has slides that you know the his minimum font size seems to be about 60 points how many of you have slides with 60 point minimum font probably not many big graphics big font if you look at gold look at the the archives of Steve Jobs as keynotes big graphics big font eight-point font is out next thing I learned is that if you truly want to be an entrepreneur innovator you have to jump curves you don't do things 10% better you do things ten times better I'll give you some classic examples of curve jumping first we'll start with a historical one there used to be an ice harvesting business in the ice harvesting business in the 1900s this meant that Bubba and jr. would go to a frozen lake or a frozen pond in the winter and cut blocks of ice and in 1909 million pounds of ice was harvested in the United States 33 years later was the beginning of the ice factory curve the ice factory curve now meant that you didn't have to be in the winter you didn't have to live in a cold city you could freeze water centrally any time of year and then the ice man would deliver ice to your house so imagine the advantage of going from ice Harvester cold city cold time of year to ice factory any city any time of year fast for in another 20 years now we have the refrigerator curve this is ice 3.0 ice 3.0 meant that you had your personal ice factory you didn't go to a centralized ice factory well the centralized ice factory didn't deliver ice to you you had your own ice factory you had a PC if you will a personal chiller and so if you look at this the great values the great innovation occurred because people went from one curve to the next curve actually I said that incorrectly very few people went from ice harvesters to ice factory to refrigerator curve most people they were ice harvesters they defined their businesses ice harvesting they died on as the ice Harvester then there were ice factory curves people on the ice factory curves defined their business as we freeze water centrally and then we deliver it those people died as ice factory they did not become refrigerator company and refrigerator companies are not looking at biotech so one very important lesson is if you really want to change the world you can't necessarily do it on the curve you're on if you're on this particular curve and you try to do something ten percent better it's not good enough if you were the best Daisy wheel printer company he said next year will be really innovative we'll introduce three more typefaces in three more font sizes that's incremental what truly is a curve jump is to go from Daisy wheel printer to laser printer if you were the best telegraph company it's not to have better Telegraph's it's to be telephone company ice factories to refrigerator jump curves it's not about ten percent better it's about ten times better the real innovation happens on the next curve not on the curve you're on next thing I learned is that all that really matters is something works or doesn't work in other words don't worship religions and fads you know at one point Apple believed that a closed system would work at one point it believed an open system would work if Apple was never sort of stuck on whether we follow the open model or the closed model all that mattered to Apple and Steve was it either work or didn't work not that it was open or not open a very good example with the iPhone many people don't remember this but when the iPhone first came out third-party apps were not permitted the Apple story for a third-party app on the iPhone initially was Safari plug-in that was the answer and the whole pitch was with a phone unlike a computer which didn't make any sense to me at the time with the phone unlike a computer a phone is a very complex thing lots of messages coming in phone calls coming in on this constant data network you don't really want to screw around with a phone and that third-party apps interfere with the quality of your phone experience so we're locking out third-party apps if you want to do anything as a third party developer it has to be through our browser as a safari plugin okay that was story number one with the iPhone six months go by open up the iPhone and they declare victory again and they say we're opening up the iPhone we have had such demand and such interesting creating third-party apps we realized that we need to do this for the benefit of our customers and the benefit of developers it's now an open system you can develop apps it doesn't have to be a Safari a plug-in Apple completely reversed itself where it's stuck on the religion of closeness it would have stuck the closeness where it stuck on the religion of openness it would well arguably would have started with openness the point here is that what Apple and Steve Jobs has proven is that what really matters is not whether it's open or closed no matter what sort of industry jargon is being used what truly matters is it works or it doesn't work you know Izzi is the iOS App Store and open or closed system well you could make the case that it's an open system because anybody can write an app you can make the case that it's a closed system because unless somebody at Apple approves your app it's not going to go into the store and if it doesn't go into the store unless you have a broken jailbroken iPhone you can't install it again work or doesn't work is all that truly matters next thing is for a long long time people used to beat Steve up an Apple about price Macintosh was too expensive iPhone is too expensive iPad is too expensive you know you can get a cheaper iPad from blackberry you can get a cheaper iPad from HTC you can get a cheaper iPad from HP depending on whether HP has discontinued it or not that day so you know I think what Steve is proven is that there are a class of person that cares about value which is different than price arguably a Macintosh is more expensive but is it truly more expensive when you consider the increased productivity the ease of use the less support costs so Apple is testimony that you know value is very different from price if you compete on price as an entrepreneur it's a very very difficult thing I want you to think of a two-by-two matrix okay and in this 2×2 matrix of course you want to be in the upper right-hand corner because if anybody you work for the Kinsey or went to business school you know in a 2×2 matrix you're always in the upper right-hand corner right that's just where it is so the the parameters on this matrix are uniqueness vertically and value horizontally okay so in the upper right hand corner you are unique and valuable that's where you want to be only you produce your product and it is a very valuable product the problem is many other people are in the other three corners let's discuss the other three corners let's say you're at the bottom right corner in the bottom right corner this means that you are in fact valuable but not unique in the valuable but not unique corner you're going to have to compete on price if you slap the same operating system on the same hardware guess what you compete on price in the opposite corner the upper left corner in the upper left corner you're unique but not valuable in other words you're just plain stupid you have created a product that nobody cares about only you have created it but nobody uses it because it is of zero value the bottom left corner is where you're unique and not valuable excuse me I said that wrong the bottom right corner is where you're not valuable and you're not unique so this would be a corner where you do something really stupid and stupid people like me in the venture capital business has funded more competition to do the same stupid thing okay that's the worst corner of all you could make that case about let's say pets.com hopefully you're old enough to remember if it's calm sopes calm ten or fifteen years ago the pitch was we have patent pending curve jumping paradigm shifting way to sell dog food online the dog food business is fundamentally a supply chain management business dog food business let me explain it to you on one side we have a cow on the other side we have all we need to do is kill the cow cut it into little pieces put it in a can get it to the dog how hard could that be so why was there a pet food store in the middle sucking up 25% of the margin revolutionary thought let's eliminate the pet food store in the middle because nobody wants to drive to a pet food store park at the pet food store look at the pet food pick up the pet food and drive it to their house right so let's eliminate that stupidity in the supply chain that's our value we make pet food much more convenient the problem with that is that pet food is not so good online for one thing you may eliminate the pet food store but then you have to add back shipping and handling and then it's kind of inconvenient to buy pet food online because you have to be at home when UPS drops off the dead cows in the cans so it's no more cheaper and it's a pain in the ass because you have to be at home when the dead cows in the cans come to your house so it's not that valuable and then there was pets calm and so since there was pets calm then venture capitalists figured well we need our own pets calm so that's why there was AI pets calm a pets calm last minute pence calm discounts off your 16 ways to spend as much money for dog food online as at the pet food store and have the added inconvenience of having to be home when the pet food car came to your house that's dot-com Corner not unique not valuable so the corner you want to be in is the upper right hand corner if you're an engineer you have to create a unique product or service if you're a marketer you have to convince the world that it is unique and valuable it's that simple I'll give you some examples of products that are in that corner for me I love to go to movies I have 4 kids we love to take our kids to the movies one thing you'll learn taking kids to the movies it is a pain in the ass to get 4 kids to the movies so you really want to know before you go that you have tickets we live in androgen we go to rid would city 20 Redwood City 20 you can buy tickets at home using Fandango that's the only service that theater supports therefore it's unique if I want to buy tickets online and print them at home I have to use fandango unique it's also valuable because now I know that I have a ticket before I get to the theater I also skip the ticket buying line I go straight into the theater for me that Fandango is unique and variable this is a Breitling emergency watch this watch if you unscrew this big knob you pull it out there's an antenna that antenna broadcasts the emergency signal at the one 21.5 band and this signal is caught by airplane so if I'm ever in a life-threatening situation I got GaN skiing and I've you know gone off the path I'm sailing and you know I'm like lost or something like that I could pull this and this watch could save my life this is not something you do you know you took rang stork instead of shore line coming here today this is something you do when you're about to die this is a very unique watch this watch can save my life hi into the right this is watch is not the cheapest watch but arguably if you are in those kind of situations the value is so great that the price becomes less relevant Steve Jobs taught me that value is different from price next thing Steve Jobs taught me that a player's higher a player's B players higher C players when you hire C player guess what a C player hires a deep layer that's what the deep layer hires an E player this is called the bozo explosion okay you need to fight the bozo explosion right now you're all small companies you're thinking you're hiring a players the moment you lower your standards in hire or be player is when the bozo explosion starts you hire B player the B player is going to say I have to hire people who are as not as good as me because they would show me up they would be better than me they might rise above me so B players hire C players and then the C players get in a position of hiring guess who they hire the deep layers and you wake up one day and you will be freaking surrounded by bozos there is a bad fact III I think I have a way to improve what Steve said I think a player's higher a plus players that arguably you would hire people better than you not just equal to you and I'll tell you my experience is engineers have the hardest time with this concept and the reason why is that engineers think that engineering is hard and everything else is easy right so typically when you eat an engineer the engineer says engineering is really hard programming is really hard design is really hard but finance is easy if I wanted to I could be the CFO if I wanted to I could be the CMO if I wanted to I could be the VP of Operations if I want it to be I could be the vice president of sales because engineering is hard everything else is easy so an engineer in particular violates this because an engineer is always trying to hire people that for positions that they think they can do better it's a very dangerous thing for an engineer be very cognizant let me tell you something finance ain't easy sales ain't easy marketing and ease it off saying easy engineering and easy either but you know don't denigrate the other positions hire people who are better than you if you are the CEO you should say with great pride that I have someone in charge of sales who's better at sales than I am and if you are the CEO you should hire someone who you could say I hired a VP of Marketing and this people VP of Marketing is much better than I am at marketing that should be a source of pride for you next thing is real CEOs can demo seriously real CEOs can demo it's not MBAs you know that you brought them in because of their credentials real CEOs can demo they can actually use the product and I've said in many many pitches where CEOs come in and they say well you know I'm going to let my VP of engineering demo the product like why can't you demo it don't you know how to do it if you really want to be a great CEO you have to demo your own product you can't demo your own product quit something's wrong with real CEOs do demos Steve Jobs prove that nobody could do a demo better than Steve Jobs it's going to be one of Tim Cook's biggest challenges real CEOs can demo next thing real entrepreneurship not slip they ship you know my theory is taken off from Bobby McFerrin Bobby McFerrin had a great song don't worry be happy' real entrepreneurs don't worry be crappy which is when you have jumped curves when you've gone from ice harvesting to ice factory to refrigerator company when you've gone from Daisy wheel printer to laser printer the first version of the laser printer can have elements of crappiness to it right the first laser printer from Apple was seven thousand dollars slow appletalk network single sided no envelopes eight-and-a-half by eleven only right piece of crap but it was a revolutionary piece of crap if we had waited for the perfect world of double-sided envelope feeding multiple you know megabytes of RAM faster network we would have never shipped so as an entrepreneur you have to understand that you need to ship neither ship don't worry be crappy I am NOT saying ship a piece of crap I'm saying ship something that's jumped curves that has elements of crappiness to it big difference okay but real entrepreneurs truly do ship the last thing I learned from Steve Jobs is some things need to be believed to be seen most of the time you hear this in the opposite way which is some things need to be seen to be believed not for an entrepreneur this is how it works for an entrepreneur you have to believe in your product you have to ship your product and then people will see it and you will see it and if you don't believe it'll never happen if you wait for proof it will never happen if you wait for customer validation it will never happen you have to believe the reason why Macintosh successful is that at the core 100 people starting with Steve Jobs believed in McIntosh and because we believed in McIntosh we made it real which is very different than if McIntosh was real then we would believe it if that were the case McIntosh would never have succeeded you have to believe in some things if you want to see some things so what time is it perfect timing 22 so this is the third the 12 lessons that I learned from Steve and can we take you a yeah I would love to take you a you know usually if I gave you my enchantment speech I'd be pushing it I would it would take one hour so this is unusual I have time to do Q&A so let's do Q&A first of all thanks for sharing your your lessons and your insights thank you it's I've heard you speak many times and it's always enlightening my questioner is regarding the the point about a players need to hire a plus playoffs and this is a point that has been stated several times by many individuals that hire people better than you what are your suggestions regarding people developing the emotional understanding that they have to let go it's not about them it's about hiring the best talent in terms of getting the best people yeah you know one of the things that is I'm most difficult for CEO and a founder is letting go and it's perhaps an overused metaphor but it really is like your children and at some point your sons and daughters will go to college and you need to let go this doesn't mean you disown them but you mean you need to let go you need to let the the person in charge of Apple stores really do Apple stores and the people who are in charge of you know various functional groups of your company you need to let go well for one thing it's a very practical reason is if you are succeeding you cannot possibly handle everything another practical reason is that if you truly hired A+ fairs a plus players do not want to be constantly micromanage and so almost by definition if you can micromanage somebody you probably don't have an A+ player that would be a very good test actually so this is one of those cases where it's easier to be the keynote speaker than to be the entrepreneur because you know as a parent it is difficult to let go I have a son who's 18 years old so he's the senior year and he's applying to colleges now and I know it's going to be very very difficult moment for my wife and I to let him go although we still have to pay tuition for four years but this is going to be very challenging moments so you just have to understand that that is something that's going to come down the road and it's going to happen just like parent what else oh oh sorry it's a little bit more on the same point it looks like you left a puzzle in your ABC analysis so who hires B players hey guys hi a pleasure yeah that's a good question I don't know oh yeah by definition who would hire I know who hires D players boards of directors which is code word for VCS what else yes you I love the concept of jumping curves and I also like the fact that when you go in to talk to somebody about capitalization and you you emphasize the uniqueness and value they go well how many of these have been sold in the market thus far to justify your financial profile yeah how do you respond to that when you're really trying to set a new tone well come out with a new profit when you encounter that kind of response I would say one of two conditions exists one is it's a clueless venture capitalist or that person is essentially telling you no so basically when you deal with venture capitalists there's only one response that is yes and the one response is let's start due diligence that's a yes everything else is no if they say if they say when you get a customer come back to me that's a no if they say when you get a co investor come back to me that's a no everything is a no except we want to start due diligence that's a yes so now you might ask well why do venture capitalists not say no arguably it's harder to get a venture capitalist to give you a direct no than it is to get a direct S and the reason why venture capitalists never say no is because they have the fantasy of maintaining an option on you this way the way it works is if I say come back to me when you have a you know when you've proven the dogs are eating the food or come back to me when Kleiner Perkins or Sequoia has taken a lead I'd be happy to Co invest the long liner or Sequoia well duh who wouldn't want to invest a log kleiner or Sequoia alright any idiot would do that so I mean that's kind of the problem that they cannot say no they don't want to say no because they don't want in their minds to close down the option if they say no and you become the next Google they look like an idiot so what they have to do is they would tell the founders of Google if they knew that it was going to be Google they would tell them that the founders of Google welcome back to me when you have a business model for your new search engine right so this way if they miss Google they can say to themselves I didn't miss Google I told those bozos Larry and Sergey to come back to me they didn't come back to me it's their fault so now when I go meet with CalPERS I'm not going to tell CalPERS I missed Google I'm going to say I saw Google I knew Google was going to be successful didn't come back to me it's their fault not my fault I still need 20 million dollars from CalPERS that's what happens that's what happens so if you want to hear yes so I can I give you some tips about pitching ok so tip number one of our pitching is I'll give you a metaphor think of pitching like online dating okay there's two kinds of online dating theories one is e harmony you fill out questionnaires do you like long walks on the beach do you like white wine or red wine you like opera classic or rock are you open to adoption not open to Duff and you are many kids few kids because according to eHarmony you're finding your soul mate you're going to be walking on windswept sunny beaches holding hands for the rest of your life you need soul mates right the opposite end of eHarmony is hot or not look at this picture is she hot or not okay guess which one venture capital is it a knee harmony it's hot or not in 30 seconds they're going to decide are you hot or not it's that simple and so what happens in that 30 seconds most people stumble and fumble in 30 seconds what venture kappa sois i hear in the first 30 seconds is not who the hell you are because the odds are you don't have a proven track record because if you had a proven track word frankly you wouldn't be raising money so what you need to do is in the first 30 seconds explain what the hell you do really because until you explain what the hell you do it doesn't matter who you are I have sat in pitches where the first 30 minutes are talking about you know I my my relatives came over on the Mayflower they settled in Connecticut they had the first butcher shop in Connecticut they did extremely well so my great grandfather you know he went to Connecticut College and my next my grandfather went to Yale then I went to Dartmouth I went to Dartmouth and I majored in oriental art history but I have I always wanted to be in technology so I started taking dotnet classes on the side and I studied whole Microsoft and I'm really proficient in PowerPoint in Excel and I've always admired what your firm does and I'm sitting anything what the hell do you do and then they say well according to forrester and Jupiter you know this is a market of a hundred billion dollars and how hard could it be conservatively get 1% of this and I'm still wondering what do you do is it hardware is it software what do you do what market are you in in the first 30 seconds you need to explain what the hell you do really because until you explain what the hell you do it doesn't matter who you are really because very few people have this kind of background that would just say oh my god I have to invest I'll give you some examples so let's say you say I was the veep first VP of engineering of Akamai so I truly understand how to scale something that would be a competitive advantage or I was the VP of you know engineering of Google that would be proven engineering of course arguably if you were VP of engineering of Google or Akamai why would you be trying to raise a million dollars because you're worth a billion dollar something's wrong with this picture right so that's the kind of thing so you know you you want to talk about if you if you feel okay many people believe that venture capitalists are looking for proven teams if you have maybe later you're gonna have a panel of venture capital are you okay so watch watch what's going to happen if the moderator smart the mater is going to say what do you look for in a team you like to invest and you know what every venture Calvin's going to say proven team proven team we invest in people investing people who are proven people so all you're going to write that down they invest in proven people so you think oh I go to the pitch I have to prove so that's why you start your pitcher yeah we took a lot of dotnet classes I have rock star programmers I have never met a CEO who did not hire rock star programmers how come there's so much shitty software out there I don't know everybody hires rock star programmers okay so you know what the reason why I venture capitalist publicly say we're looking for a proven team is because they're afraid that in the audience is someone who represents CalSTRS or CalPERS or one of the big LPS right and so you don't want the CalPERS person to hear your the truth the truth is you're looking for unproven teams with unproven products in unproven markets because I just described Apple and Google and Yahoo and Cisco that's what they were unproven teams unproven markets unproven technology besides that perfect absolutely perfect so as a venture campus you can't sit on the stage and say well we're looking for unproven team's unproven people unproven markets because you're afraid that someone in CalPERS is going to write down aah-aah that fund is looking for unproven people we can't put our money in there so you say we're looking for proven people so now you write down they're looking for proven people so now you believe you have to prove you're a proven person to get an investment you're meeting with the wrong VC you know if you if you could get if you could talk to someone like Michael Moritz of Sequoia and ask Michael Moritz what do you look in and arguably Michael Moritz is probably most successful VC in the last 20 years right Michael Moritz will tell you we're looking for two guys or two gals in a garage or dorm engineering students who are trying to build the product that they themselves want to use because that describes Google and Apple and Yahoo and YouTube that's what they want so when somebody says come back to us when you have more revenue come back to us when Kleiner Perkins or Sequoia is leading around come back to us when you have a world-class team they're saying no you're saying no okay yes you know how I really feel hi everybody get during the panel watch okay somebody asked the question what you look for in a team watch just watch going back to the 12 things you learned from Steve customers cannot tell you what they need what was the process of customer development like at Apple that not surveying people asking them what they need but was our process observing you know what they were going to use and the process of Steve Jobs to do this so I was the frosted you know the a focus group at Apple is defined as Steve's left hemisphere was connected to his right hemisphere that was the two members of the focus group his left brain in his right brain were connected by cortical structure that's it it was now having said that you know I don't necessarily recommend that you know you all think your mini Steve Jobs and you can anticipate the future but I will tell you that it's very unlikely that you could put together a people in a focus group and ask them what they want and you come up with anything useful because I will tell you I'll save you the money they'll tell you better faster cheaper status quo like whatever you do if you do better faster cheaper status quo the focus group will love you it's that simple what else I have the one last question because I have to go to something that I cannot miss actually yeah there's a lot of pressure on me now well where are you over here oh okay so I have a question about 0.3 about the biggest challenges be getting the best work and I know you know I've talked to a bunch of people now where I live in New York about how we know we're frustrated that all these people are just building iPhone apps instead of trying to tackle world-changing problems and I'm wondering though how are you concerned at all that there seems to be because it's easier to start a company now that there are people who are more comfortable solving smaller problems or what do you think could be done to address that I think that as you as you look back I don't think that you know at the time you're starting a company there's sort of a bifurcation and some entrepreneurs say I'm solving big problems and some entrepreneurs say I'm Smalling shitty little problems so you're saying well too many people are solving shitty little problems it's not going to change the world the way I think it works is most entrepreneurs start off trying to start to solve shitty little problems and lo and behold they create these enormous successes so you know I don't think that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or even Steve Case when they first started their company they saw this big macro picture I don't think Bill Gates saw that someday I'll have an operating system business I'll have an applications business someday I'll have an Xbox game business someday I'll have a Bing search business someday I'll have a you know MSN business I think a Steve ja that Bill Gates it I could build an operating system well build is a loose term build that operating system for this cool thing called the PC and and wall said Wow you know wow we could like scam parts of HP and we could build this board and this board can like put up a character on this TV how cool is that and so you start off with these very humble beginnings and 25 years later you have this huge success that's very different than then saying you know I don't think woz and Steve when they first started out this we the future of personal computing and this future includes iphones ipads ipods Macintosh's so we're starting now but 25 years from now that's the future I think the most relevant question that engineers start a company with is not you know what's the future as much as wouldn't it be cool if wouldn't it be cool if we could search better wouldn't it be cool if instead of having to drive to a computer you could have one in your house wouldn't it be cool if my girlfriend could sell Pez dispensers on the Internet so I started Eve a total story but in a great story so you know wouldn't it be cool if people could upload copyrighted video and you know millions of people would watch it and wouldn't it be cool if people could take video of themselves dropping Mentos into diet cokes you know so we started YouTube so I think the salient question is wouldn't it be cool if and then if you have a lot of people answering the question wouldn't it be cool if some of them will grow into mighty mighty you know redwood forest trees many of them will die some people will create in a sort of Christmas tree height but some people will create apples and Cisco's and Yahoo's but at the time you're planting the seed nobody knows I mean yeah you know like venture capitalists like to be able to say you know yeah we knew we knew that company would be successful they had a proven team they all right they had a proven business model they were in a proven market so we knew that company would be successful that's why we invested in if you ever encounter that then ask the VC well what about the other 19 investments that you made how come they failed and the VC will say well I told my partner's not to do that wasn't me you know go go ask go ask the people who funded Webvan where then is a very good example where then proven team right proven market everybody has to eat proven business model you know you imagine the convenience you could go online and order someone to bring you broccoli that is a great business so proven team proven business model proven technology you know build a fact build a distribution site and automatic picker puts the broccoli in your basket sends it to avanthi rels everything is perfect about web fair raised 450 million dollars where is it today you should solve small problems small solve problems and hope that many people have that small problem that would be my recommendation okay thank you very much enjoy your conference thank you thank you very much

22 thoughts on “12 Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki”

  1. 1 – “Experts” are clueless. @03:45
    2 – Customers cannot tell you what they need @05:03
    3 – Biggest challenges beget the best work @06:54
    4 – Design counts @07:42
    5 – Big graphics. Big font. @09:20
    6 – Jump curves, not better sameness @10:22
    7 – “Work” or “doesn’t work” is all that matters @13:15
    8 – Value is different from price @16:05
    9 – “A” players hire “A” players. @22:22 ("Bozo Explosion")
    10 – Real CEOs Demo. @24:55
    11 – Real entrepreneurs ship. @25:44
    12 – Some things need to be believed to be seen. @27:05

    Q&A @28:28

  2. Many people think it's all about them. Plus, maybe that's just the way people appear when they are speaking.
    Maybe, just nice thoughts thinking about Steve.

  3. I think Kawasaki has great advise for certain types of businesses. On the other hand, I also think he and Apple went through a great many growing pains, learned a lot, became somewhat independent and successful. However, they initially began in an environment with a tons of growth and very little competition. Remember, when Apple started they were almost the only company making small computers but very soon were eclipsed by Microsoft and IBM clones. They had already though made a lot of money. Money solves a lot of problems and they kept a few niche areas like desktop publishing in their camp. If they hadn't they would have gone bust. So, starting out, even with a great idea, can be difficult without lots of money. Established companies buy out others all the time. But surviving in a more competitive, established market can be very difficult. He does say that scalability is huge. I believe that wholeheartedly and getting LARGE number of people to use your product/ service usually takes market force and money, not always, but usually, like ANY other business. There are lots of examples of companies like Lotus 1-2-3 that are no longer around when once they were market leaders.

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