Guy Kawasaki: What makes innovation?

Guy Kawasaki: What makes innovation?

Summary: At Cisco Live in San Francisco, Silicon Valley entreprenuer Guy Kawasaki, author of Reality Check, talks about the four qualities of innovation that he believes all successful products need. They are: deep, intelligent, complete, and elegant.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech, CXO

Topics: Emerging Tech, CXO

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  • No revelations here

    Guy is quite likable. And, his presentations and books are easy to digest and wonderfully simplistic. He knows that's what sells, specially for him. His name alone gives him credibility, and a jump on book sales: the 10-point lists generally seal the deal. We all want to "understand" as quickly as possible.

    But talks like this - mainly to promote himself and his own products - are past the curve. Good to see that this subject and approach are coming the mainstream market. But, as an "expert" he is late. That ship sailed a while ago. Lexus knew this in the late eighties (and spent $1B to prove it). You can even see truly excellent - and unique - products coming right out of places like Vietnam and China.

    This is not about innovation, as it is about making products and services that meet and beat expectations, mostly emotional. Many product "designers" are really great engineers. They know how to make something work, but don't entirely understand why someone would buy it. This is not a bad thing in itself, but often it doesn't produce a great product.

    Guys like Donald Norman have been beating this drum for quite a while, and even he recently began to really understand just what role emotion plays in a product's acceptance. Guy, every purchase - EVERY purchase - has an emotional component. I saw it personally back in the eighties when I sold chips and capacitors in the Valley. All decisions have some human irrationality built in. That's what all these products have in common. How "cool" is it the sandals can open a bottle! Bottle openers aren't real hard to find these days. How "cool" is it I don't have to remember to get the right batteries for the flashlight! Thanks for thinking of me. Etc.

    Drop by a design school sometimes and you'll see how far behind Guy is.

    Still like him, though.
  • RE: Guy Kawasaki: What makes innovation?

    I'm not sure that what he's describing is innovative at all. It just sounds like good design. One can have Deep, Intelligent, Complete, and Elegent without introducing anything new or innovative. And I suspect that if one did all those things, even if it wasn't innovative in the least, they would have a market hit on their hands.

    There is another word which I think sums up all those four characteristics: Quality.
  • RE: Guy Kawasaki: What makes innovation?

    Your words would seem correct except for the fact that seeing a quality driven market plan emerge in the PC industry would be an innovation.