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Cure your covid-19 blues

Innovation is the solution

Has covid-19 got you down? Need some stimulation to get you energized again? 
Here are 5 strategies to try, courtesy of my friend, strategist Guy Kawasaki.
Guy and I met when I was editing an international magazine and looking for innovative writers like him. 
Guy was chief evangelist at Apple, convincing software writers to create programs for the early Macintosh computers.
He has written 15 books including “The Art of the Start” and “Enchantment.”
He’s also a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. Someone has to do it, right?

He shares his ideas on innovation, social media, evangelism and entrepreneurship. 
He interviews innovative guests on his podcast and recently gave a presentation on being more innovative in hard times.
Here are his strategies:

1. Aim  to make meaning - not money.
When he was at Apple, he was up against IBM, the 10-ton elephant in the industry.
He and Steve Jobs set out to better the world with Apple products and look what happened. Apple is one of the premiere companies in the world. IBM no longer is.
When we launched the Chronicle in 1992, our 2 chief competitors had their noses buried in the bottom line.
We aimed to deliver higher value in a community newspaper. We needed to make money, too, but it was the by-product, not the goal. Now we own one competitor and the other is nearly bankrupt.

2. Focus on merit in recruiting, hiring and development of your people.
If you are blinded by gender, race or other biases, you deny yourself top talent.   
When I had the privilege of editing big corporate newspapers, I had race, sex and other hiring requirements. That forced all of us to hire the wrong way. 
I got a 3-fer one time - a Latino woman married to a Aleutian Indian. I looked like a hero with the corporate brass but she wasn’t really competent to do the work.
Color blind hiring for competence is the right way. Hire for what they can do or may be able to do and not for their parentage.

3. Polarize people.
Stand for what you believe. Don’t worry if some people hate you and your product. They aren’t who you set out to serve.
As you know, we get our share of Facebook trolls who just want to hassle us. 
That’s OK. Ignore them. Make sure enough people love what you offer them.

4. Work in the Magic Quadrant.
Draw a square with 4 boxes. In the top left box print Unique & Valuable. What’s in the other 3 boxes doesn’t matter. Do only what is unique and valuable. 

5. Ignore the naysayers.
You know who they are. They’re the inlaws and outlaws who say it can’t be done, you can’t do it, what you’re doing is wrong.
95% of success in life originally couldn’t be done. The earth was flat. Man could not fly. Etc., etc. Christopher Columbus and the Wright brothers proved them wrong.
Guy has 6 other strategies. You can see them at

Next: How to get ideas.


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