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Guy Kawasaki’s key to success: get high and to the right

Kicking off the TNW2019 Conference in Amsterdam today, tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki shared a number of unforgettable pieces of wisdom from his life in the industry over the past few decades. His final bit of advice made sense for figuring out how to build your business, and advance your career: get high and to the right.

“It’s not about weed or politics – it’s the only graph you need to chart your life, create a product, and even find the ideal life companion.”

Whether it’s your personality as a potential employee, or the proposition of your product, Kawasaki recommends charting its uniqueness on one axis, and its value on the other. The idea is to optimize your offering so you get high, and to the right, on that chart, which means it’s as unique and valuable as possible.

Guy Kawasaki's graph for success - get high (on uniqueness) and to the right (on value) (where the iPod is)
Guy Kawasaki’s graph for success – get high (on uniqueness) and to the right (on value) (where the iPod is)

If you only deliver value, as Michael Dell did with his PC business, you’ll end up competing with several others on price, Kawasaki explained. If you’re only unique, you’ll have a hard time reaching people.

Kawasaki (naturally) cited the example of the Apple iPod as something high and to the right; it had “a user interface anyone could operate, connected to a massive legal music library, and granted access to songs for very little money.” That was the key to that product’s success.

As you advance towards your goal, Kawasaki recommends tracking your progress on getting high and to the right. “That’s where history, money, and profits are made.”

There’s plenty more where that came from. Check out the official schedule to discover the keynotes you don’t want to miss, and watch them on our live streams.

Published May 9, 2019 — 10:02 UTC

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