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Creative Career Path

Innovation Nation2011.07.19

    New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote in an open letter to President Barack Obama that, what the world needs now is more jobs―Steve Jobs. He was not alone in this thought. FORTUNE Magazine named Steve Jobs the CEO of the Decade launching the 21st century.


    Under Steve Job’s leadership, Apple’s success at innovation has captured the imagination of the world, and a healthy share of the market as well. This message was not just about entrepreneurial success, but about making a difference in the world, and changing lives for the better. While this message was directed to America, what nation could not benefit from more innovation?


    Innovation is about change, invention, and positive renewal that transforms our world. It is the arms and legs of creativity, imagination in working clothes. Innovation always seems to take the rest of the world by surprise, because it comes out of the blue, and yet emerges fully formed, like a newborn horse that can already walk.


    It spawns imitation, with mixture of admiration and envy, as if to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”


    Now one man has done the world an enormous service by giving us a process that works for Steve Jobs, in a way that can also work for us. Carmine Gallo is the author of two bestselling books, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, and the sequel, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success. If you put the principles into practice, both books can change your life and career.


    Carmine Gallo was recently in Japan, sponsored by Nikkei BP, the publisher of the Japanese edition of Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, which sold 200,000 copies in the first year, and of the newly released Japanese edition of Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. You can watch his presentation on USTREAM at


    Carmine Gallo is not only a best selling author, but also the communication coach for executives of many of the world’s leading brands, IBM, Toshiba, Raytheon, L’Oral. But in his visit to Japan he emphasized principles to help you think differently about your company and your products, the innovation secrets of Steve Jobs. Carmine consolidated these principles by gathering ideas from Job’s associates, analysts, and specialists, and condensed them into 7 Principles that can rock the world, quite an innovative achievement in itself.


    Principle 1: Do What You Love. Principle 2: Put a Dent in the Universe. Principle 3: Kick-Start Your Brain. Principle 4: Sell Dreams, Not Products. Principle 5: Say No to 1,000 Things. Principle 6: Create Insanely Great Experiences. Principle 7: Master the Message. Anyone who is an Apple fan will recognize these immediately.


    The principles have a Steve Jobs style about them, but have been successfully applied by companies in other industries. They work for anyone who gets inspired by innovation, and is willing to put it into practice. In his presentation in Japan, Carmine focused primarily on the first two principles, which are essential prerequisites to the others.


    Principle 1: Do What You Love. Steve Jobs said that, “We have to know what we stand for. We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.” And he was right. Apple is not about making computers, but is passionate about making tools to help people unleash their creativity.


    Carmine’s message is powerful medicine in a world where pragmatism precludes passion, and many people are afraid to go first. He said that when it comes to innovation, passion is everything.


    Principle 2: Put a Dent in the Universe. This principle speaks to vision. Carmine told the Japanese audience that it is better to gamble on your vision, than to make “me too” products. He gave the example of Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks, whose vision was not about making a better cup of coffee, but rather about creating a community between work and home. And he was right. Many people thought Starbucks could never make it in Japan, because Japan already had a well-developed coffee shop culture. Not only did Starbucks take Japan by storm, but it spawned a number of imitators in the wake of its innovation.


    I asked Carmine, how can the average worker, who neither owns nor directs the company they work in, develop the passion and vision to change that company? He said it helps to have a boss who encourages and invites participation from the ground up, as companies like Google and Linkedin do, and they get results. However, he said if you feel stifled in your job, don’t settle for someone else’s dreams. “Life is too short. Follow your heart.”


    Some questions from the audience concerned the lack of inspiration in Japanese companies’ mission statements and tag lines, which tend to be vague and predictable. Carmine made an important distinction between a mission statement, which is a convoluted statement drawn up by a committee to be put in a drawer and forgotten; and a vision, which is a clear picture about how your product or service can change the world. Bold, inspiring, specific and concise, constantly talked about, and comes with a timetable. That is food for thought on everybody’s table.


    William Reed


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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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