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“Why do we revolutionary user interface? I mean. Here is four smartphones. Right, the Moto Q, Blackberry, Palm Treo, Nokia E62. The usual suspects. And, what’s wrong with their user interface? Well, the problem with them is really sort of in the bottom 40 there. It’s this stuff right here. They all have these keyboards, they’re there whether or not you need them to be there. And they all have these control buttons that are fixed in plastic and are the same for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly different user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons, just for it. And what happens if you think of a great idea six months from now? You can’t run around and add a button to these things. They’re already shipped.
So, what do you do? It doesn’t work because the buttons and the controls can’t change. They can’t change for each application, and they can’t change down the road if you think of another great idea you want to add to this product.
Well, how do you solve this? Hmm, it turns out, we have solved it. We solved it in computers 20 years ago. We saw that with a Bitmap screen they could display anything we want. Put any user interface up. And a pointing device. We solved it with the mouse. We solved this problem, so how are we going to take this to a mobile device? What we’re going to do is get rid of all these buttons and just make a giant screen. A giant screen. Now, how are we going to communicate with this? We don’t want to carry it around a mouse, right? So what are we going to do? A stylus, right? We’re going to use a stylus. No. Who wants a stylus? You have to get ’em and put ’em away, and you lose them, yuck! Nobody wants a stylus, so let’s not use a stylus.
We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world, we’re going to use the pointing device that we’re all born with, we’re born with ten of them, we’re going to use our fingers. We’re going to touch this with our fingers. And, we have invented a new technology called multi-touch which is phenomenal, it works like magic. You don’t need a stylus. It’s far more accurate than any touch display that’s ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches, it’s super smart, you can do multi finger gestures on it. And boy, have we patented it!” – Steve Jobs at the introduction of iPhone (2007)
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You know, I’m glad everybody is laughing. Because he makes it funny. When was the last time you actually had fun delivering a PowerPoint? Yeah, he uses Apple Keynote, but you get the idea. When is the last time you actually had fun delivering a presentation? Not too often. You see what I mean by passion, enthusiasm comes across? But this is hard to do, that simplicity of communication is very difficult to do.
Everything I’m talking to you about today. You can’t just turn this in a few minutes. You really have to think through, what’s my story? How do I make it understandable? What’s my Twitter-friendly headline?
Twitter-friendly headlines, sometimes, can take hours to develop. I’ve worked with a group of executives, over some very, very complex technology and information. You could do it. No matter how complex your idea is, you can actually create a one-sentence description for it. But that could take hours.
Then you have to ask yourself: Why should my audience care? Why should they care? So, these two things will help you make your presentation, and your conversation more understandable, which is the first element of inspiration. How do — do I get it? You get your audience to start nodding in agreement. Okay, I see the category in which he is placing this new product, I understand the benefits, I understand it. Tell me more. Help me remember it. Stamp it on my memory.
Bring Numbers to Life
How are we going to do that? There’s a number of techniques that I could talk about, but because you’re MBA students, you deal a lot with finance and data and analysis and numbers. Bring numbers to life. This is one excellent method that you can use today. Bring numbers to life. Put every statistic that you deliver into a context that is relevant to the audience.
So in 2001 when Apple introduced the iPod for the first time. They said it contained five gigabytes of storage. Five gigs means nothing to anybody, it’s just a big number. Well not today, but back then it was a big number. 5 gigs. No, 5 gigs is the equivalent of 1000 songs. Oh, and now that’s more interesting. OK, 1000 songs. Now I get it. 1000 songs in your pocket, which was the brilliance of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs would always take it one step further. Most people would just deliver 5 gigs. Smart communicators would say that’s the equivalent of 1000 songs, genius communicators go one step above that. Apple continues to do this to this day which is why Apple is so brilliant at communicating information and messages behind their products. There’s a whole team of people back there and they work really long and hard to communicate interesting and engaging messages.
So last year when Phil Schiller introduced the new iPad Mini, I forgot how thin it was. I’m going to show you a clip and it’ll remind me. It was thin. It was some kind of number. Really thin. I don’t remember the number. I remember it was thin as a pencil. I do remember it was as light as a pad of paper.