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If innovation is your goal, Guy Kawasaki has ten things for you to think about.

Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley icon who worked for Apple and marketed its computer in 1984, was a keynote speaker at the first Inventure$ unconference in Calgary that drew more than 1,400 delegates including angel investors and venture capitalists.

The three-day meeting reflected the atmosphere of conferences such as SXSW in Austin, Texas, and the sessions included discussions on topics ranging form  artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles to bio-technology.

In his a talk titled Art of Innovation, Kawasaki noted the anti-immigrant sentiment that has emerged in United States means it is a good time to be a Canadian entrepreneur. He went on to offer delegates advice from his career launching several successful start-ups:

1. Jump to the next curve
Be ready to embrace the next innovation and make it better in a way that only you or your industry can.

2. Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is now MVVVP
You have to ensure that your product is not only viable, but valuable and validating.

3. Don’t worry, be crappy
If you don’t look back at your first product and cringe, you shipped too late.

4. Polarize people
If you’re truly disruptive a polarizing reaction means you're doing something new.

5. Ignore naysayers
Not everybody embraces the new right away.

6. Niche thyself
Sell what makes you unique

7. Changing your mind is smart, not stupid
If Steve Jobs did it, you can too.

8. Let 100 flowers blossom
Don’t assume you can control what happens once your product is in the market. Embrace any success even if it’s not what was intended.

9. Churn, baby, churn
It’s not enough to launch something disruptive – continue to evolve.

10. Perfect your pitch – you’re always pitching.

Inventure$ is intended to inspire, provoke and spark a dialogue and the inaugural conference was held in parallel with the annual meeting of Canadian Venture Capital Association, which allowed more than 500 venture capital organizations to take part. 

As Calgary works to expands its economy there is a focus on innovation in core sectors including energy, agribusiness, and transportation and logistics as well as emerging sectors including creative industries, financial services, tourism, life sciences and biomedical.

The city prides itself on being the city of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs.


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