TEDxHarkerSchool – Guy Kawasaki – The 12 Lessons I Learned from Steve Jobs

TEDxHarkerSchool – Guy Kawasaki – The 12 Lessons I Learned from Steve Jobs


Translator: Yasushi Aoki
Reviewer: Capa Girl All right. Thank you very much
for having me. This is the first time
I’ve ever spoken at a TED Conference. So, you know, you guys have
the good taste of inviting me. I’ve never passed anybody else’s
standard to be invited. So, I’m flattered. And perhaps we can make
a little history today, right? So, a little bit of my background. I worked for Apple
from 1983 to 1987 I was Apple software evangelist. My job was to convince people
to write Macintosh software. How many of you use Macs
in this audience? I love to see that.
(Laughter) Yeah. And the rest of you what?
Are you oppressed? I mean what — (Laughter) So, I worked for Apple, I started some software companies, and I became a writer
and a speaker. I returned to Apple
as Apple’s chief evangelist. This is in 1995 time frame. And I had a great time with Apple
not very long ago, as we all know,
Steve Jobs passed away. And I worked for him twice. One of the few people
who survived working for him twice. And he had a monumental effect
on my life. As well as really the Valley
and probably the world, truly the world. I think you’d have to rank him with Walt Disney
and Edison and Steve Jobs. I mean, who are truly visionaries. You’ll hear lots of people
throw the “V” word around and there are I think in my estimation
really three people who qualify, and it would be
Edison, Disney and Jobs. So, I created this presentation
right after he passed away because I wanted to get on paper,
get onto PowerPoint, get into the world, what I personally learned
from Steve Jobs. I’m not sure he intended
to teach me this, but this is what I learned
from Steve Jobs. And so, I would like his memory
to live on forever and forever to influence people. So, the first thing that I learned
from Steve Jobs is that “Experts pretty much are clueless.” And this is a very important
lesson for you because there’s a temptation to default to,
shall I say, older people, people with big titles, people who have declared
themselves experts, and if there’s anything that
Apple has proven, is that the experts are often wrong. And so, as you go through your life, you start your companies,
and you start your careers, and you try to change the world. I want you to learn
to ignore experts. This maybe contrary to
what you’ve been taught but experts usually define things
within some established limits and I think you should
break those limits. So, I view what I call bozosity — I view bozosity as
somewhat like the flu where it can be something that
you can be inoculated to. So, how to fight the flu, you get a little bit of flu,
so that when you encounter big flu, you’ve already
built up resistance. So, I’m gonna inoculate you
to bozosity so that when you encounter
big bozosity, you will have already
built up resistance. So, let me show you
some bozosity of experts. First thing. 1943, Thomas Watson,
Chairman of IBM says, “There is a world market
for maybe 5 computers.” I have 5 Macintoshes in my house. (Laughter) I have all the computers
he anticipated in the world. If you were Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak
or Bill Gates and you listened to this, where would we be today?
Next example. “This telephone has
too many shortcomings to be seriously considered
as a means of communication. The device is inherently
of no value to us.” (Laughter) Western Union memo, 1876. Oops! You know, Western Union
should be PayPal today. It’s not. It’s very hard to go
from telegraph to Internet, if you write off telephone in the middle. You know what I am saying,
it’s just too big of chasm to cross. The last example is from our friends at DEC.
Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, great company,
great entrepreneur. “There is no reason why anyone would want
a computer in their home.” (Laughter) If you would wanted to run
something at home you would just have to instead go back to your office
and run a DEC minicomputer. Three examples of bozosity, and not from, you know, total people
that you wouldn’t expect. These are all people
you would expect. Founder of IBM. Founder of DEC. You know, Western Union,
hugely successful company back then. You need to learn
to ignore experts. Next thing you need to do
is to understand that “Customers cannot tell you
what they need.” They could tell you that
“I want bigger, faster, cheaper status quo.” That’s what they usually will tell you. You really can’t ask them
about a revolution because they can only define things,
they can only describe things in terms of products or services
that they already have. Bigger, faster, cheaper
status quo. If you truly want
to change the world, you need to ignore
your customers. And you need to jump curves.
Let’s talk about this. This is the Macintosh 128K. I promise you nobody in the world was
asking for this computer in 1984. No one said, “Give us
a cheap little graphic toy, 128k of RAM, no software,” thanks to my efforts. That’s what we did. Totally unexpected. Nobody was asking for it. It’s because Steve Jobs,
using the “V” word, had a vision for
what the future would be. This is his vision –
graphical user interface. Next thing I learned
from Steve Jobs is, “You need to jump
to the next curve,” rather than duking it out
on the same curve trying to do something 10% better, you need to get to the next curve. Don’t stay on the same curve. Great example –
1900s, Ice 1.0. There was an ice harvesting industry
in the United States. This meant that Baba and Junior
would go to a frozen lake or frozen pond
and cut a block of ice. 9 million pounds of ice
were harvested in 1900. Ice 2.0. Ice 2.0 was ice factory. Now, you froze water,
any city, any time of year. Major breakthrough. So much better. They didn’t have to be cold city. They didn’t have to be
cold time of year. Ice 3.0. the refrigerator curve. Now, it wasn’t about the ice factory
with the iceman delivering ice to your house. Now, you had your own
personal ice factory. Your own PC,
your own “Personal Chiller.” (Laughter) The great innovation occurs
when you are not stay on the same curve. Don’t do a better ice harvester. Don’t add horses to the sleigh. Don’t have a bigger sharper saw. If you are an ice factory, don’t have more ice factories, don’t build better ice factories, don’t have better icemen delivering ice you wanna get to the next curve. If you were a printer company, although many of you are
too young to understand this, there used to be this thing
called daisy wheel printer and had this little ball in this,
ball rotated and struck the paper. If you were
a daisy wheel printer company and your idea of innovation was, “Well, let’s introduce more
typefaces in larger sizes,” that’s not innovation. Innovation occurs when you go from
daisy wheel printer to laser printer. Jump to the next curve. Next thing that I learned is, “The biggest challenges beget
the best work in people.” I think one of the reasons why we did
such great work at Macintosh division is because Steve had
such great expectations of us. And, you know, we try to rise
to his expectations. This is an ad that shows some of the — shall I say,
youthful exuberance of Apple. When IBM entered the computer business,
Apple ran this ad welcoming IBM
to the computer business. We were throwing down
the gauntlet. Welcome IBM, you huge successful
East Coast mainframe computer company. Welcome to the personal computer business. Welcome to Vietnam. (Laughter) Next thing I learned
from Steve is that “Design counts.” Many people can say that
they appreciate design. Many companies say that. But truly, how many companies
care about design? Apple is one of the few,
truly cares. And you know what, not everybody
in the customer base truly cares about design. To this day, 95% world doesn’t use
a Macintosh, only 5% does. But there are people who really care
about design and they count. Design counts. This is a Mac Book Air. Thin, beautiful, design counts. You have one? Thin, beautiful, design counts. Next thing is,
when you make a presentation, if you did nothing else but this,
[Use big graphics and big fonts] (Laughter) you would be better than 9/10
of the presentations in the world. Seriously. Seriously, just do this. I’ll show you a typical
Steve Jobs slide. What a great slide! Big graphic. “The best windows app
ever written: iTunes.” It’s a typical Steve Jobs slide. You know, any other CEO,
there would be a matrix, right? There would be
a 4 column matrix, and it would have
this like checkboxes, and it would be an 8 point font and you couldn’t read it. The person giving the presentation
would not be able to explain it. This is the beauty of Steve Jobs. The irony of saying that the best Windows app
ever is iTunes from Apple. Showing the logo of Windows. This is a beautiful slide, this encapsulates
the Steve Jobs presentation style. Big graphics. Big fonts. The ideal font-size, just for you to know,
maybe a rule of thumb — The rule of thumb is find out
who the oldest person is in the audience, divide his or her age by two. (Laughter)
OK? So, if you are talking to people of 60 years old,
probably 30 points 50 years old, 25 points. Someday, you maybe pitching
to a really young VC. Let’s say,
the VC is sixteen years old. At that point, God bless you,
use the 8 point font. (Laughter) But until that time — big fonts. Big fonts. The beauty of a big font is,
it makes it so that you cannot put a lot of text
on your presentation. You don’t want a lot of text because if you put a lot of text,
you read the text and if you read the text,
you audience will be lost. Your audience will be lost because
they are going to say to themselves, “This bozo is reading
the slide verbatim. I can read silently to myself faster
than this bozo can read it orally to me. So I will just read ahead.”
(Laughter) And you will lose your audience. Big font. Big graphics. Next thing. “Changing your mind
is truly a sign of intelligence.” You may think that you should
formulate this great thought, you should use
these analytical skills, you should come
to this great conclusion by God, you gotta stick
to this conclusion because you know
you are right and you believe. And I think what Apple is proven
time and time again is that if you change your mind,
if you change the way you do things in response to how customers actually
consider you, treat you, or accept you, it is a sign of intelligence
and it will lead to success. I’ll give you an example. Believe it or not,
when the iPhone first came out, this was the press release that basically set
the Apple perspective on apps: “Our innovative approach,
using Web 2.0-based standards, lets developers create
amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone
secure and reliable.” Steve Jobs said this in June 2007. Let me translate this for you. This is Apple speak for, “There will be no independent apps
on the iPhone, what you have to do
is use the Safari engine.” That’s what that translates to. And in the beauty of Steve Jobs
is that he was saying, “We’re doing this
as a favor to you because we want you
to be secure and reliable.” (Laughter) OK? Fast-forward one year. Headline of the next Apple press release
about the iPhone development environment. “Apple Executives to Showcase Mac OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone Development Platforms
at WWDC 2008 Keynote” A year later, they were
highlighting the fact that “Now you can develop
independent apps for iPhone.” They’ve gone from a world where
“You have to use Safari.” to “We’re gonna show you
how to use independent apps.” Of course that’s the right way.
That’s what we always intended. (Laughter) This is a sign of great intelligence. They were able to
completely flip thought. And you know what, nobody pointed out
this complete reversal. The press loved it when they said,
“Oh, reliable and secure,” in 2007. And then the press loved it
in 2008 when it said, “You can ship any app.
You can create any app.” Goes back to point 1:
Experts are clueless. (Laughter) Next thing I learned
from Steve Jobs is “Value is not the same as price.” I don’t think there’s anybody who ever bought
a piece of Apple equipment because it had the lowest price. (Laughter) Trust me when I tell you that. Having said that,
value is not the same as price because value incorporates
other qualities such as coolness, such as ease of use, ease of training, ease of translation, ease of adaptation, ease of adoption. But what Apple is shown to me is that it’s not necessarily the case that
you have to have the lowest price. You have to have the best value. Apple did a great series of ads
about this. Where it said, this is
the Mac guy over here. This is the PC guy over here. And the PC guy
has to hold the bake sale because he needs
to get more money so that he can fix Vista because Vista was
too hard to use. So, what’s the better value? The Macintosh that doesn’t need
to be fixed or Vista that needed
to be fixed because it was so hard to use, so difficult to implement
for an IT infrastructure company. Value is not the same as price. Next thing I learned is that
“A players hire A+ players.” Actually Steve’s theory was
“A players higher A players” that is A players hire people
as good as them. I would slightly change his theory. My theory is that A players
hire people better than them, not just equal to them. The problem is
if you hire B players, the B players who are insecure, who don’t want to be shown up
by people better than they are. B players higher C players. And then C players hire D players. And then D players hire E players. And pretty soon you have Z players. (Laughter) This is what’s called
the bozo explosion. (Laughter) You need to fight
the bozo explosion. A players hire A+ players. When you are
in the position of hiring, hire people
who are better than you. That’s what makes great companies. This is a picture of the people — Oh, I’m sorry, but the way
the lighting works in this room, it’s very difficult to see the face. This is 5 years ago, the reunion of the Macintosh division. And I’ll tell you, I consider it an honor
to have worked with this group. It was the most fun, the most stimulating group
I’ve ever worked with. It was like basically being paid
to go to Disneyland everyday. It was a great time. A+ players. Next thing I learned is that
real CEOs can do demos. They don’t hand it off
to their VP of engineering. They don’t hand it off
to their VP of sales. The CEO can do the demo. Steve Jobs proved that. This is a picture of Steve Jobs inserting
a Macintosh 128k floppy into the first Macintosh
that was shown publicly at De Anza College. Steve Jobs could demo. Great CEOs can demo because to be a good demonstrator
of your product or service, you truly have to understand
the product or service. You truly have to understand
how it works. You also have to understand
your audience. So, if you ever start a company,
if you ever start tech company, if you are the CEO, you should be able to demo
your software, demo your website. You don’t abdicate this to other people. Next thing I leaned is that
“Real entrepreneurs ship.” Ship. You know, don’t worry about getting
to the state when it’s perfect. As soon as you’ve jumped curves, when you’ve gone
from Ice 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The first laser printer was not perfect. The first laser printer was just much better
than the best daisy wheel printer. You don’t have to be perfect.
You have to ship. This is a picture of anti-example. This is a picture
of an Alto from Xerox PARC. Arguably Xerox PARC had many
of the concepts for Macintosh, figured out before Macintosh. Steve Jobs had a visit there. He saw a mouse.
He saw the graphical user interface. The difference between Xerox PARC
and Apple Computer is that Apple could ship, otherwise Xerox PARC
would be Apple today. Ship.
Real entrepreneurs ship. Next thing I learned is that “Marketing is all about
finding unique value.” If you’re an engineer, you have to create something
that’s unique and valuable. If you’re the marketing person,
you have to convince the world that it is unique and valuable. This is a 2×2 matrix. You’ll encounter 2×2 matrix
for the rest of your life. You need to get used to this. I will tell you, generally speaking,
in every 2×2 matrix, you want to be in the upper
right-hand corner. (Laughter) That’s all you need to know, really. That’s all you need to know. The nuance is,
what you put on the axis to put yourself
in the upper right-hand corner. Uniqueness on the vertical axis, value on a horizontal axis. If you are here, you have created
something valuable but not unique, you have to always fight on price because you have better sameness. If you’re up there, you have created
something only you have done it, but it is not valuable. In that corner,
you are just plain stupid. (Laughter) In this corner, you have created something
that’s not valuable and not unique. It’s because stupid people like me
have funded you to do the same stupid thing
that’s not useful. The upper right-hand corner is
where you want to be. You have a unique product or service
that is of great value. And the last thing that I learned
from Steve Jobs is that “Some things need to be believed
to be seen.” Usually you hear this saying
the opposite way. Some things need to be seen
to be believed. But really in life, if you want
to change the world, you have to believe in things
before you see them. You have to believe in Macintosh
before you would see it as reality. And the believe in iPod an iPhone
and an iPad and all this technology, you, your teams, your customers
have to believe in it before they will truly see it. If you do these things
and you take these messages to heart, these lessons to heart, you will change the world. The top 12 lessons of Steve Jobs. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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    Straddllw

    I was browsing innovation and startup videos on yt because that's what I am studying in uni and what I am interested in. It lead me to this video, and I clicked on "harker school". I am amazed at the students at that school. I saw their semifinalists for their year 10-12 research projects and their research is of the same complexity as many research papers conducted by honor students and post graduate candidates. Wow, way to get ahead in life.

    Btw, thanks for posting this presentation.

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    Kuro Matsuri

    – Ignore experts – Except for these lessons from Steve Jobs. o.O
    – Design matters – design doesn't matter to everybody – only 5% of personal computer users use Macs, implying that only Mac users care about design. o.O
    – Do something that is valuable AND unique – after admitting that Apple took many of their ideas from Xerox, meaning those ideas weren't unique. o.O
    – I could go on, but I'm running out of space in my comment.

    Apple rhetoric is so full of holes!

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    learn4fun

    I'm amazed this is the first time you've ever done a TED talk! So glad to see your presentation! You've inspired me for years!

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    IanPeon

    This was a great seminar, with great information to absorb here. But, one thing to remember is that even though Apple has always been a great company, it has not always been a profitable one. Microsoft dominated the PC market for a long time, despite running their business as an antithesis to the information contained in this speech. Only within the last 10 years has Apple dominated in electronic consumer products, and their product(s) that hit big were not Macintosh desktops and laptops.

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    Blake K

    This should have been a 2 minute video reminding you of all the stuff you've already read in technology and business blogs and in the Steve Jobs book. The one new thing I learned from Kawasaki is that experts are apparently clueless at making short, succinct videos that introduce new material.

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    zodiacfml

    I liked the part, A players hire A+ players which should be the case in a competing company. This is opposite in my country, no one is strong enough to accept people better than they are.

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    Sam Barney

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    Clark Johnson

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    The self generates the daughter.

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    Thomas C Southall

    Good to frankly admit Xerox invented or reduced-to-practice GUI ( clear image) & mouse concept & that Steve Jobs essentially copied after visiting Xerox. Usually that step is omitted in Apple's story. (Interestingly, in history, RCA scientist, in the early '30s, switched line of research as soon as Sarnoff got back from visit to Farnsworth TV lab; was mazed by his advances in cathode ray. 2nd pt., Apple could manufacture & ship items with those concepts faster ( seemed true) may also be valid, and may suggest ruthless Jobs could be in annexing ideas if there was no push-back from the entity being raided. I am a historian and like to see dispassionate truth.

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    Luan Huynh

    Somebody can tell me that why welcome to IBM computer business related to Welcome to Vietnam. What the hidden meaning he mentioned? Thanks

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