Guy Kawasaki At #INBOUND14: Don’t Let The Bozos Drag You Down

In his opening keynote speech, former Apple and current Canva evangelist Guy Kawasaki urged the crowd to fight against the “bozos,” as he called them often throughout his presentation of 10 lessons he learned from Steve Jobs.

1. Experts Are Clueless

“You need to learn to ignore bozos,” Kawasaki said.

The bozos, he said, can tell you about existing products, but fall short when trying to predict the future. They’re people like the IBM chairman who predicted the world only needed five computers, or the Western Union executive who wrote off telephony in 1876, or the person who said nobody would want a computer in their home.

2. Customers Are Clueless, Too

You can ask customers how to help evolve your product, he said, but they cannot tell you how to leap.

3. Innovate By Jumping To The Next Curve

Kawasaki used the example of ice harvesting, when people would saw blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and have them taken to their destination by horseback.

The next curve was ice factories, he said, in which ice could be manufactured any place, any time.

Finally, he pointed to refrigerators – “your own PC – a personal chiller.”

Apple's ad to IBM4. Challenge Big From Employees

“Steve dropped some big challenges on us,” Kawasaki said.

He pointed to the “Welcome, IBM” ad, as well as the famous 1984 spot – which, as Kawasaki said, wasn’t as much about buying a computer as it was about preventing totalitarianism in the computer marketplace.

5. Design Counts

Insert the obligatory jabs at non-Apple machines here.

6. Use Big Graphics and Big Fonts

In using a slide deck as an example, Kawasaki said to give people just enough anchor points.

7. Change Your Mind

In 2007, Apple unveiled the iPhone. Upon doing that, Steve Jobs created a closed environment not allowing third-party apps.

However, by 2008, Jobs changed course and welcomed third-party apps during an announcement at the 2008 WWDC.

“It is okay to change your mind,” Kawasaki said.

8. Value Does Not Equal Price

“Price is what you pay on day one,” he said. “Value has to do with support, training, viruses” and more.

9. A Players Hire A+ Players

According to Kawasaki, B players hire C players, C players hire D players, and the process continues until you get to Z players.

“Hire people better than you. That’s how you make a great company,” he said.

10. Marketing Should Create Value

Think of a chart with two axes – value and uniqueness.

A valuable product that isn’t unique competes on price.

A unique product that has no value is worthless – “You are just plain stupid,” he said.

A generic product that has no value is the worst place to be.

Finally, Apple, he said, was in the top-right corner for being unique and valuable.

11 – A Bonus! Some Things Need To Be Believed To Be Seen

“When it comes to innovation,” Kawasaki said, “you need to believe in something to see it.”

By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.