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Guy Kawasaki - Has a thing against corporate clowns - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki and The Art of Innovation: ‘Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down’

Guy Kawasaki Says Forge Ahead With Good Product

By DONNA BALANCIA

Guy Kawasaki gave his inspiring “Art of Innovation” presentation before a packed house at the NAMM Show Saturday breakfast.

The former Apple marketing “evangelist” had an important message for the crowd of mostly music merchants: Persevere with new ideas no matter what others say.

Stick with your idea, continually develop your idea, but stay away from the clowns, he said during his 10-point presentation.

Kawasaki: No Clowns Here

“There are two kinds of ‘Bozos,'” Kawasaki said. “There is the ‘Loser Bozo,’ the kind with the B.O. and the pocket protector and there is the ‘Winner Bozo’ who wears all black clothing and has a lot of things that end in ‘I’ like Lamborghini.”

The “Loser Bozo” is not a threat.  But be careful of the “Winner Bozo,” the dangerous Bozo, who says no to your idea. You have to separate rich, famous and powerful from those who have been lucky, Kawasaki said.

Kawasaki told the audience it’s important to be “inoculated” against “Bozocity” by being attuned to phrases like “It can’t be done,” and “Why would anyone …?”

Guy Kawasaki said innovators have the bravery to crack a joke - Photo courtesy of Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki said innovators have the bravery to crack a joke – Photo courtesy of Guy Kawasaki

Generally, those who are afraid of change or the new idea, are threatened for their own job security and will say no.  So go find someone else to pitch and keep going, he said.

Kawasaki says ‘Jump’

Don’t be afraid to “jump the river” and get to the next level of development and continue to think ahead of the curve.  He also said that when you make a presentation, don’t be afraid to crack a joke. He mentioned that on a trip to Russia, he snapped a pic of himself in front of large cannon balls and made a crack about bravery in his presentation.

Other suggestions Kawasaki made include making fans not just at the elusive CEO-level, but start at the ground level, with the people in the trenches because they’ll always be your fans.

Make a niche for yourself. Find the place that the competitors are not, in terms of uniqueness and value. And if you have fans and supporters who may not exactly be in the niche you’re going for, that’s OK too. Don’t turn them away.

And work hard to get that first believer or investor.  It’s good to show people you have at least one solid supporter.  Then you can get the others.

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