Guy Kawasaki Quotes on Disrupting The Market from Asian Carriers Conference 2017

Last September 12, 2017, I flew to Cebu City with our friends from Smart Communications to witness the start of Asian Carriers Conference 2017 where the movers and shakers in technology and mobile communications industry in this continent gather to discuss ideas, innovations, and breakthroughs that can transform the world for the better.

The main keynote speaker during the event was Mr. Guy Kawasaki, Former Apple Evangelist and current Chief Evangelist of Canva, a free graphic design website. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing tech products and managing start-ups, Mr. Kawasaki is certainly one of the brightest minds in our industry today.

I was lucky to have had the chance to meet him personally and to listen to his talk at ACC 2017. I'd like to share that good fortune with you by giving you these quotes and paragraphs that he said during his keynote about Disrupting The Market:

"Make sure you appreciate great design. Great design is the key to Apple; It's in their user interface, it's in their industrial design. One of the things that separated Steve Jobs from every other CEO in Silicon Valley is that Steve Jobs believed that engineers were artists. It wasn't about lines of codes, it wasn't about that kind of productivity. It was about art. And I think if you want to disrupt the market, you have to think of your engineers as artists; That they are making art that's an expression of their soul. Make design count."

"Polarize people. Some people will love what you do, some people will hate what you do. It's OK. The worst case is that people don't care about what you've done; That you're irrelevant."

"You have to learn to ignore the naysayers. The naysayers are going to tell you that it can't be done; That it shouldn't be done and that it isn't necessary. When Apple came up with Macintosh, many people predicted its demise. When Apple decided to do the Apple Store, many said that there's no way that the Apple Store would work; You can't possibly support a store with a single brand. And yet today, per square foot, Apple is the most successful retailer in the world."

"Naysaying is typically done by people who are bozos. They're stupid. They're negative. There are two kinds of bozos in the world. One kind of bozo is obviously a loser; You look at this person, this person is disgusting with body odor, rusty car, Japanese watch -- and you say, "Huh! That person is a loser." That's not a dangerous bozo. [Because] who listens to losers? Other losers. That's why that bozo isn't dangerous."

"The dangerous bozo is the winner bozo. The dangerous bozo is the bozo that is famous, that is rich, that is powerful; Dresses in all black. The dangerous bozo owns a lot of things that end in "I" like Armani, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes is OK. People look at that person and they think being rich or famous parses to smart. But being rich and famous often parses to lucky, not smart. So you should never assume someone who's rich and famous is smart."

"To be successful as a disruptor, you have to be willing to change your mind. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence. It's not a sign of stupidity or making a mistake. Changing your mind is a good thing."

"This is all the marketing you need to know as a disruptor: Niche thyself. I think the marketing of disruption comes down to a very simple point. If you're an engineer, you need to create a product that's unique and valuable. If you're a marketing person, you need to convince the world that it's unique and valuable. When the iPod first came out, it was unique and valuable; It was the only way you could buy songs from the six major music publishers easily, legally, and cheaply. Unique and valuable."

"Letting a 100 flowers blossom for a disruptor means that you take your best shot at positioning and branding and figure out who you are unique and valuable for -- and then you ship it. And then, you wait and you see what happens. And in many cases, you'll notice something very interesting, which is your intended audience may not embrace your product and if you're lucky, an unintended audience starts buying your product or service. This absolutely happened to us at Apple."

"So in the 1980's, we thought Macintosh would be a spreadsheet, database, and word processing machine. We were zero for three there. Large companies didn't embrace Macintosh for those three functionalities. Luckily, quite luckily, companies started to use Macintosh for desktop publishing. Desktop publishing is not something we anticipated, not something we created. I think that desktop publishing - all these page maker, Adobe postscript - I think they were gifts from God to the Apple Computer. God wanted to save Apple. I believe in God. And one of the reasons why I believe in God is that there is no other explanation for Apple's continued survival than the existence of a benevolent God."

"Let me give you some tactical advice: What we can do in Silicon Valley better than anyone in the world is that we know how to declare victory. So we said, 'Of course, Macintosh is good for desktop publishing. That's why we created Macintosh.' The way it works in Silicon Valley is you take a lot of shots, you take a lot of risks, you fund a lot of startups, you throw them all against the wall, a very few of them will stick and you go up the wall and you paint the bull's eye around what stuck to the wall and you say, 'Hallelujah! I hit the bull's eye again!' That's how it works in Silicon Valley." If you want to believe that at the start of eBay, Youtube, Apple, Facebook, or Google, that we knew that they were going to be successful, God bless you. I'm telling you, it's not true. All of that happened after the fact. It's a great skill to declare victory."

"Churn, baby, churn! This is the most difficult thing for a disruptor to do. Once you've shipped, you need to completely change your mindset and churn. Churn means version 1 becomes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, and 2.0. Macintosh started in January of 1984 and it took until 2017 to get computer like an iMac Pro. I will tell you that one of the big learning lessons for me in my life was I thought that Macintosh was so great that by January of 1985, Apple would control the computing world. It never happened like that. It took 20 to 30 years for Apple to truly be successful. I never thought it would take that long. The lesson here is that you need to jump to the next curve. When you jump to the next curve, that curve doesn't have to be perfect. I'm not saying you should ship crap but I'm saying that if you jump the next curve; That first refrigerator was not perfect, right? That first laser printer was not perfect, that first digital camera was not perfect but once you've shipped, you need to churn, baby, churn -- and this is the toughest thing for a disruptor to do because you have to go from ignoring feedback to listening to feedback."

"One of the most valuable lessons that I learned from Steve Jobs is [...] that if you want to be an innovator, if you want to be a disruptive force, if you want to dent the universe, if you want to change the world, you need to embrace the attitude that some things need to be believed to be seen. If you believe in the internet of things, if you believe in Macintosh, if you believe in iOS, if you believe in Android, if you believe that people will rent out their spare rooms to strangers on the internet, if you believe that people will get in a car that is from a company that you're quite sure is properly insured and licensed. If you believe that that can happen, then you will see the Lyfts, the Ubers, the Apples, and the AirBnBs, and all the companies that change the world. Some things need to be believed to be seen -- and that is the art of disruption."

Which quote from Mr. Guy Kawasaki at ACC 2017 resonated with you the most? Share your thoughts about it via our comments section below. Let's talk.

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