So last week while making my second visit ever to upcoming.org I see this Network Solutions event featuring Guy Kawasaki in Miami and I decide to sign up (after all, it’s not often that you see any web or Silicon Valley mogul show up in Miami, let alone for FREE). Before seeing a blog post of his emailed to me about a year ago by a friend, you could have told me he was the creator of the motorcycles with the same name and I would’ve believed you. To keep this short, Guy worked for about 3 or 4 years at Apple marketing the Macintosh and then later went on to become a venture capitalist at Garage.com funding potential start-ups and also to turn down the position of CEO of Yahoo (Silly Guy…) For more information visit his Wikipedia entry.
So the event took place last night and it went pretty well. His speech was short (about 20-30 minutes) but pretty sweet. Guy seems to be a pretty down to earth person, wearing his “Aloha” shirt and always having a smile on his face (not sure if that’s a PR scheme or just natural). Anyway, the following are some key points he shared with us (I text this to myself, so I am putting my own 2 cents and paraphrasing a lot here):
- Have a two or three word mantra (not a slogan, more a mission statement). A mantra such as Nike “Authentic athletic performance” was cited by him (and his blog). Nike’s mantra should not be confused with its slogan “Just do it.”
- Keep things simple and uncluttered.
- Have perspective to spend more time on your product, PR, and marketing. Try to have a clear path to go on.
- Be innovative with your ideas. Guy cited ice as an example for both perspective and innovative. At first ice was harvested from icy regions and shipped. Later, technology evolved to creating ice in factories and shipping out to customers. Finally, with the refrigerator/freezer ice was in your house at all times. None of the companies that harvested the ice turned into ice factories and none of the ice factories turned into refrigerator companies. They lacked both perspective AND (some) innovation.
- Have depth in your products. He cited Network Solutions (I wonder why…) as a company with depth since it offers domain renewals, web hosting, SEO and Marketing services, etc.
- Your company and product must have intelligence. This is self-explanatory.
- Your product must be a complete product. You must encompass most or all of your target audiences needs.
- Create an elegant design, and ease of use. Guy cited the iPod as an example of elegant design, navigate, scroll, and select any song or video you want through a single click-wheel.
- “Don’t worry, be crappy“. Guy states that it’s “OK” to be crappy if you’re ahead of the curb in a technology or an idea. If you have a product or service that no one has it’s fine to release it “crappy”. It’s actually a good sign!
- Fix the crap! Once you release the crap, you need keep working on it to make it excellent. It’s OK to release crap in innovation as long as you continue to refine and work on it.
- Market in a niche. The ideal situation is for you to create a product that people need but no other person or company does. You need to find a niche otherwise you will continue to compete in saturated markets.
- It’s fine for customers you didn’t have in mind to use your product. Don’t be scared off because of it or change your model. Guy recommends you “take the money!”
There was a bit more but my text message says *\Missing Text\*. The one time I need text messaging to work and the only time it doesn’t! The only other point to mention was that an audience member asked about “Enemies”, Guy thinks enemies are good in business because they drive competition and therefore stimulate innovation. That was about it.
At the end, they had a business card drawing where I ACTUALLY FREAKING WON! Guy pulled out the card and it was yours truly that got picked! I’ve never won anything like that so I was ecstatic! So I now hold TWO SOLD OUT World Golf Championships CLUBHOUSE TICKETS that will be held in the Doral golf course. Whoop! Tiger Woods FTW! I’d love to go but the only problem is that it’s for Sunday March 23, 2008 which is Easter (filled with family events). So I’m accepting offers if anyone is interested. They supposedly go for $250 each ticket and all the proceeds will go directly into my “Buying a house fund”. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want proof of pictures or more info.