Last week, I (virtually) attended the Lean Startup Conference and heard Guy Kawasaki – former Chief Evangelist at Apple – speak about 10 things he learned from Steve Jobs. Below are the 5 that caught my interest, along with some of my thoughts…
1. Customers can’t tell you what they need (you need to help them figure it out)
I think it is important to keep in mind that building the right feature takes collaboration and communication. This is similar to how a Product Owner presents a user story to the dev team and then there is a discussion to clarify points, add acceptance criteria or discuss why another approach could be a better idea.
2. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence
This is very much in line with Agile thinking, which is why we work iteratively and incrementally and why continuous improvement through inspecting and adapting is so important.
3. Engineers are artists – treat them like artists
Just like an artist, engineers need space to be creative and innovative (no micro-managing). They also need time to work on their craft, for example, time to refactor so they are not introducing technical debt.
4. Innovators ignore naysayers
There are many reasons why people will say something can not be done. Perhaps they don’t understand the vision, maybe a particular idea threatens them or they don’t like thinking outside the box.
5. Some things need to be believed to be seen
Guy explained this as the idea of sometimes people won’t take the time to see something until they’ve been convinced of the idea. So, really understanding the benefits of a feature, being persuasive and convincing people of the idea many times is the first step.
Please let me know what you think.