I've had the pleasure of seeing Guy Kawasaki present twice now (see his insights from #SMMW17), and I have to say: this guy has the best ratio of expertise and realness I've seen in a presenter. He doesn't feel scripted, but he does have himself together - and not only knows what he's talking about, but truly believes it. I get the impression he'd say no in a heartbeat to a presentation on a topic he wasn't truly an expert on, and for this, he has my trust, and the trust of millions, whenever he opens his mouth onstage. I'm excited to see him again in San Diego in February at #SMMW18!
The theme of this year's Synergy Global Forum was disruption; the early Apple employee ("I'm the guy who's so dumb, I quit Apple not once, but twice!" is a line Kawasaki used both times) of course learned this from the best of the best, the legendary Steve Jobs.
Kawasaki's presentation was based around several keys to disruption (though, of course, a true disruptor doesn't need such a process). I may have skipped a point or two; chime in in the comments if you were there and I missed anything!
1. You cannot ask your current customers what to do.
They can teach you how to make your existing product better; they cannot teach you how to build something entirely new.
2. Jump to the next curve.
Don't be unprepared for the next innovation; be ready to embrace it and make it better, in the way that only you can.
Ensure your product is not only viable, but also valuable and validating.
4. Make design count.
It's not just the inside that matters; it's the total package.
5. Polarize people.
If you're truly disruptive, people will love you or hate you. Embrace that passion. Such a reaction means you're doing something right, something new.
6. Ignore naysayers.
Haters gonna hate. And not everybody embraces the new right away.
7. It is a sign of intelligence to change one's mind.
If you aren't willing to learn along the way, you'll never grow.
8. Niche thyself.
Ensure your product is both unique and valuable.
9. Let 100 flowers blossom.
Don't assume you can control what happens once you're products in the market. Let what happens happen. Embrace any success, even if it's not what you intended.
10. Churn, baby, churn.
It's not enough to launch something disruptive and then rest on your laurels. Continue to evolve the product. Continue to be the best.
11. Perfect your pitch.
If you're going to disrupt, you're going to need to explain to - and convince! - people. So know how to say what you're doing clearly and quickly.
12. Dent the universe.