Author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki writes in his book The Art of the Start 2.0
that “Entrepreneurship is at its best when it alters the future, and it alters the future when it jumps curves.”
Kawasaki gives the following examples of products jumping curves:
- Typewriter to daisywheel printer to laser printer to 3D printer
- Telegraph to telephone to mobile phone to smartphone
- Cassette player to Walkman to iPod
For Kawasaki, all curve-jumping products share the characteristics laid out in the below DICEE framework:
Deep: Customers may not realize at first all the features and functionality that curve-jumping products offer, and therefore they’re unlikely to outgrow these products.
Example: Google offers everything from search to advertising, and analytics to social media, among other capabilities: “You could only use Google products and have everything you need for computing.”
Intelligent: They show that their creators truly understand their customer’s pain or problem.
Example: Kawasaki references the MyKey option that Ford provides with its cars, which allows parents to program the car’s top speed and volume of the stereo for when their kids drive it.
Complete: Curve-jumping products aren’t just “isolated gizmos, online downloads, or web services.” Instead, they include everything from pre- and post-sales support and documentation, to enhancements and complementary products.
Example: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service provides self-publishing authors nearly everything they need to bring their work to market.
Empowering: Products that jump curves help people become more productive and creative: “You don’t fight great products – they become one with you.”
Example: Kawasaki cites his own experience evangelizing and using a Mac, which he sees as being central to making him a better writer, speaker, and advisor.
Elegant: For Kawasaki, “elegance is the combination of power and simplicity.” Companies that create elegant products obsess over design and user interface, and care about what’s not there just as much as what is.
Example: Furniture company Herman Miller has won multiple awards for the engaging style and detailed craftsmanship of its products.
As you’re developing your own solutions, Kawasaki encourages you to ask the following 2 questions:
Does your product offer “better sameness” or does it jump to the next curve?
Are you creating a product that is deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant?