In the recent webinar, “Innovate the Steve Jobs Way: 7 Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success,” Carmine Gallo shared seven principles for innovation which he learned from studying Steve Jobs for many years. The webinar was a prelude to his book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success. I found it extremely useful to attend the webinar before reading the book and I combined what I learned in the webinar with what I learned from the book. I have also expanded what I wrote in a previous blog post. The book provides concrete examples of how Steve Jobs innovates and the author conducted several interviews with former Apple employees.
To support what he says in the book, Carmine Gallo also looked at what other innovators were successfully doing. He defines innovation as, “A new way of doing things that result in positive change.” How can you innovate the way you do your job? What innovations are occurring in other industries that you can transfer to yours?
Carmine Gallo has identified seven principles to guide innovation based on what he has learned from studying Steve Jobs, the Co-founder and CEO of Apple. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs has 15 chapters, an introductory one and two chapters devoted to each principle. Though the book presents a lot of information on the way Steve Jobs approaches innovation, there are many examples of others who are innovating in similar ways and achieving success.
Principle One: Do What You Love
Passion is everything, and it keeps you going when you face inevitable setbacks. Be obsessed and improve the areas that you love. To achieve success, passion is not enough – follow your obsessions, tailor them to your skills, and focus on what you can make money from. What is your calling and your destiny? How can you change the world?
A simple formula is Success = Passion + Skills + Market Demand
Principle Two: Put a Dent in the Universe
Innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Have a vision, because innovation cannot occur without one. What’s the bigger picture and how can you share your vision with enthusiasts who will make your vision a reality. How is your product or service going to change the world? How can you leave the world a better place than you found it? How can you make your customers’ lives better?
Margaret Mead’s quote, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” encapsulates this principle.
Principle Three: Kick Start Your Brain
Seek our new and novel experiences, and bombard your brain with them. Who is doing something remarkable that you can learn from? Steve Jobs studied the Four Seasons Hotel and Mercedes Benz because they are aces when it comes to remarkable customer experiences. Jobs introduced a Concierge Service in the Apple Store based on what he learned from observing the Four Seasons Hotel.
A critical part of this principle is to make connections among disparate things and force yourself outside of your physical and mental comfort zone. To live a vision requires creative thinking which requires immersion in novel experiences.
New experiences expand the way you think. Surround yourself with people from different cultures. Experiment, and try new things. What are two things that you can do differently to improve the way in which you deliver your product or service?
Principle Four: Sell Dreams Not Products
Understand your customers, and help them to fulfill their dreams. Get to know them better than they know themselves. How can you change your customers’ worlds? Create remarkable customer experiences and market that.
Your customers often do not know what they want, so be a linchpin as marketing guru Seth Godin says and anticipate what they need before they do. It’s a twist to the concept of build it and they will come, to build it and convince them that they should come.
Principle 5: Say No to 1,000 Things
Take the road less traveled. Remove distractions so you can focus on the core product. Eliminate distractions from the customer experience. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and go for simplicity. Steve Job told Nike’s CEO Mark Parker, “Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.” Go for simplicity and elegance.
Simplify and focus on your product and service offerings. What are you best at? What is one thing that you do extremely well? Focus on it and simplify.
Principle Six: Create Insanely Great Experiences
Create emotional connections with your customers. What are five ways you can enrich the lives of your customers? What relationships are you forming with your customers? Look outside your industry for examples. Create memorable experiences so you have rabid fans. Before you innovate, hold your customer in your mind’s eye, and proceed from there.
Principle: Master the Message
Effectively communicate your vision. Innovate around the way you communicate the vision. What are master presenters and communicators doing? Emulate them. Be a great storyteller, and be consistent in your messaging.
I enjoyed reading The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success because I had to stop several times and think about what I was reading. The many examples demonstrated how others were using these seven principles with great success, and I understood how I could use them as well. I also learned about innovative products that others were delivering.
For instance, DNA 11 creates art with their customer’s DNA and became a multi-million dollar business in five years. The owners Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed didn’t conduct focus group interviews to decide if there was a need for their product, they created the product then created the demand for it. They also noticed that some of their customers were asking for art with their pets’ DNA, so they offered that to other customers who might not have thought of that.
What Carmine Gallo has shown in his book is that innovation does not necessarily mean crating something radically new. Sometimes it is simply doing something in an entirely new way. This is a practical book written in a clear manner. I recommend The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success.