My Take: The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs


Though I haven’t read the book itself, I have come across a fair share of references to the book & also interviews of the author Carmine Gallo. Listed below are a few of my notes from the book & its message:

  1. Do What You Love
    • Do what you love. For anyone who has not found their passion yet, Jobs recommends they keep looking till they find it rather than getting into something one don’t care about.
  2. Put A Dent In The Universe
    • Have a vision that is much bigger & more impactful than your product / service.
  3. Kick Start Your Brain
    • The most important skill that separates innovative people from others, is their ability to connect seemingly unrelated issues or concepts from diverse experiences. Opt for varied life experiences.
  4. Sell Dreams, Not Products
    • Advertising should show how the product can make life better, rather than flashy visuals and texts. The iPad + Velcro video popped to mind.
  5. Say NO To 1,000 Things
    • Eliminate clutter & keep it simple. Apple is as proud of all the things they don’t do, as they are about the things they do.
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences
  7. Master The Message
    • Explain your product / services in three precise points to make the message easy to remember. Consistency of messaging is as important as the message itself.

~ Technometria with Phil Windley (podcast)
~ Fast Company (article)

Related Posts:
~ Quotes To Live By – Life Lessons from Richard Branson
~ Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
~ 5 New Year Resolutions To Be More Innovative
~ It is a SPIKY (not flat) World

Roadblocks To Achieving Goals

Obstacle(Photo Courtesy flickr|thomas.hahusseau)

There are six roadblocks to achieving goals. Knowing them will help you set & achieve goals betters – for yourself & for others you are trying to help.

1. Ownership: Only YOU can make YOU better. In goal-setting, you need to ensure that you own your change objectives – because they are yours. You are responsible for your behaviour.

2. Underestimating Time Involved: Positive change in perception does not occur overnight. Habits that take 30 years to develop won’t go away in a week. And as they change your behaviour, others may not recognize it for months. Ultimately, changed behaviour will lead to changed perceptions and more effective relationships.

3. Underestimating Difficulty: The optimism bias of goal-setters applies to difficulty. Your challenge in achieving goals  is not understanding what is to be done, but in actually doing! Real change requires real work.

4. Assuming Lack Of Distractions: Assume that there will be unexpected distractions and competing goals. By planning for distractions, you are less likely to give up on the change when problems or opportunities appear.

5. Expectation of Rewards: While you do the “what’s in it for me” analysis, realize that the fruits might take a long time in coming. Its important to see personal change as a process that will help you become more effective over time. Short-term price is to be paid long-term gain.

6. Maintenance Effort: Personal kaizen is a perennial “getting there” process as compared to an “arrived” state. Changes & goals also need to be maintained with the “sharpening of the saw”. Especially when relationships are involved – people change, relationships change – and maintaining any positive relationship requires ongoing effort over time.

This post is inspired by Achieving Goals by Marshall Goldsmith. 

Weaknesses: Only Contextual To Culture

“What are your strengths & weaknesses?” is a question often used in interviews. Yet, very rarely is it seen in the context of the organization culture & accordingly the suitability of an individual in it.

“I don’t believe in the abstract idea of individual “weaknesses,” only weaknesses in the context of particular corporate cultures. For example, someone who might seem weak or indecisive in an execution-oriented culture might fit right into a highly collaborative culture. What looks like weakness in one culture may be strength in another. It’s much more useful for an interviewer to know what strengths are needed to do the job and to determine if the candidate has those strengths.”

– Priscilla Claman

Read the full article The Worst Interview Question (and How to Answer It) here.

B-Schools & Start-Ups

Nice post at & a few insights that might be useful to many:

  • Early in a start-up, product decisions should be hunch driven. Later on, product decisions should be data driven.
  • Hunches come from being a power user of the products in your category and from having a long standing obsession about the problem you are solving.
  • Ideas that most people derided as ridiculous have produced the best out comes. Don’t do the obvious thing.
  • If you have an idea that you can’t get out of your head, do a start-up. Otherwise join a start-up.
  • Take risks when you get out of business school. If you don’t take risks, you won’t find yourself in an interesting job and career.

Read the full article at