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'I lived in complete and utter fear of Steve': Kawasaki

Byron Connolly | May 8, 2015
Apple's former chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, gave a rundown of the 10 lessons he learnt from the late Steve Jobs in his keynote speech at CeBIT yesterday.

Kawasaki called this Ice 1.0. Around 30 years later, during Ice 2.0, ice factories froze water, a major technological breakthrough because ice could be produced anywhere and at any time of year.

"30 years more go by and we have the refrigerator curve, this is Ice 3.0, now everybody has a personalised factory, a PC or 'personal chiller.'

"None of the ice harvesters became ice factories and none of the ice factories became refrigerator companies because most companies start on the curve and die on the same curve. It's because they define their business as what they currently do."

4. Design counts

"Apple computer is successful because of great design," he said, before describing the Apple MacBook Air as looking like a solid block of aluminium carved by Tibetan monks.

"This is a work of art. Design counts," he said.

5. Democratisation is a good thing

When all the dust settles, Apple is in the business of 'democratising' technology, Kawasaki said.

He said during the very early days of the PC, people would need to drive to university, a large company or government department to use a computer.

"Apple changed all that. Democratisation is a great thing, that's what Apple stands for. When IBM joined the personal computer business, Apple welcomed it."

6. Less is more

Kawasaki compared a typical PowerPoint slide produced by Steve Jobs with large graphics and only 7 words in large type to a confusing text and image-heavy slide presented by Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates.

"In design, in presentations, just about everywhere you communicate, less is more," he said. "The 10/20/30 rule is that the optimal number of slides in your PowerPoint presentation is 10. The optimal size is 30 points [30 slides]."

7. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence

In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and said: "Our innovative approach using Web 2.0-based standards lets developers create amazing new applications, while keeping the iPhone secure and reliable."

Kawasaki translated this as Jobs saying there will be no standalone apps for the iPhone — if developers wanted to create an app for a iPhone, it needed to be a Safari plug in.

A year went by and Apple issued a media release saying that Apple would showcase Mac OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone development platforms at the World Wide Developers conference.

"A year later, he said 'we are opening up iPhone, now you can create standalone apps', completely reversing himself," said Kawasaki.

"That was part of the genius of Steve Jobs. When he found out he was wrong, he did not hesitate to change his mind. It takes a lot of courage and intellectual power and he did it."


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