Lessons of Steve Jobs: Guy Kawasaki at TEDxUCSD (Full Transcript)

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, presents Lessons of Steve Jobs at TEDxUCSD conference. This event occurred on May 11, 2013. Here is the full transcript of the whole presentation.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: lessons-of-steve-jobs-guy-kawasaki-at-tedxucsd


Thank you very much. Good morning, people of San Diego, Go Tritons. It’s a real pleasure to be here. Thank you, thank you.

So I am going to talk to you today about what I learned from Steve Jobs. I worked for Steve Jobs, kind of twice in my life — the first time from 1983 to 1987 in the Mac division which was the largest collection of egomaniacs in the history of Silicon Valley. And that’s saying a lot if you know people from Silicon Valley. The second time was right after the 1997-1998 timeframe. And so I had two tours of duty with Steve. I will tell you that he was just the greatest influence in my life. I would not be where I am without him. The world is a lot less interesting place without Steve Jobs. There is no question about that.

And so I’ve seen many books and many things written about Steve Jobs, and I took it upon myself to write from a first-person person who was inside the reality distortion field what I learned from Steve Jobs.

I usually use a top-10 format but as Steve Jobs cannot be limited with these usual rules, I actually have a top-12 format today. And so I’m going to pass along everything that I learned from Steve Jobs so that you may apply it to your lives, your businesses, your studies so that you may in fact change the world. Because one of the things that Steve Jobs certainly did was change the world. So may he rest in peace but may his influence continue to inspire us.

1. Experts are clueless

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So number one thing that I learned from Steve Jobs is that experts are usually clueless. They will tell you something can’t be done, shouldn’t be done and it isn’t necessary. Many many people in the 1983 timeframe told Apple build a bigger faster cheaper Apple II. Don’t do anything silly like get to the next curve. Experts are clueless. Not one of them should be believed. As a young person, in particular, do not listen to the experts. Listen to your heart. Go for it. When you encounter naysaying go against the naysaying. You know, this is what I call bozosity. Bozosity is like the flu, you have to inoculate yourself so that when you encounter bozosity, you already have built up resistance. I’m going to give you three examples of bozosity so you build up the antigens to the bozosity.

First bozosity. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”. The chairman of IBM allegedly said this: five computers in the world. I have five computers in my house. I have all the computers he anticipated in the world in my house.

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us”. Western Union 1876. In 1876 Western Union wrote off telephony, oops! Western Union should be PayPal today but it’s hard to go from telegraph to computer to internet if you skip telephone in the middle. It’s too big a chasm to cross.

“There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home”. Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, great entrepreneur, great innovator. He was so successful on the mini-computer curve he could not embrace the personal computer curve.

Number one, experts are usually clueless.

2. Customers cannot tell you what they want

Number two, customers cannot tell you what they want. Customers will tell you they want better faster cheaper Apple II, better faster cheaper status quo, better faster cheaper of what you already make. Nobody asked Apple for 128K Macintosh with no software thanks to my efforts, 400K floppy, 128K RAM, nobody asked that. They wanted better faster cheaper Apple II. Customers usually cannot tell you what they want. You have to have your vision, your passion. You need to jump ahead of them. The way to jump ahead of them is to get to the next curve.

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