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Digital Convergence Day in Milan

Ipse Dixit: Some Tips for Entrepreneurs from Guy Kawasaki

by Backelite Italia

More than ten years have passed since Henry Jenkins theorized Convergence in 2006, one of the most fortunate and abused concepts when it comes to new media and technology. This issue continues to attract the interest of many and now we are at that stage of the assimilation process in which, at last, entrepreneurs are interested. Hence the Digital Convergence Day, an event organized on 20 June by Bocconi of Milan, dedicated to a vast audience composed mainly of entrepreneurs. Several speakers discussed the hottest themes of our technological present. Among these, Guy Kawasaki, one who certainly needs no introduction, with some advice to entrepreneurs on how to use new technologies productively.

Let’s start immediately with some considerations about technological convergence, which is the process theorized by Jerkins in 2006, according to which different convergent dynamics, in the latest years, would have led to the approach of audience and editorial subjects and to the inclusion of the former in the production processes at high level of the latter. A phenomenon that today seems to be one of the most significant figures of the contemporary media and communication panorama. Guy Kawasaki, however, expressed from Bocconi’s stage an idea in contrast with the dictat of the prevailing convergence of recent years.

“Warning: do not ask customers” a statement that, paraphrased, advises those who have the opportunity to do so, to dare and be courageous, always trying to imagine the next curve in their field of reference.

“Think of maps: first they were paper, then digital ones arrived and then Waze, where the map is integrated with real-time comments from users”.

If, in 1987, Machintosh had listened to users or had limited itself to reasonable considerations inspired by the market, it would never have made an expensive computer, less powerful than others, yet able to revolutionize our relationship with technology, thanks to some extras such as connecting to the printer from a PC. An important innovation that has shifted the focus of technological evolution from the strengthening of devices, to their possible use and value within society.

This new praise of creativity is accompanied by other useful considerations. According to Kawasaki, truly innovative creations must put certain balances at risk and to some extent create uncertainty. However, unbridled innovation leads to nothing if it does not reach some sort of compromise, or synthesis, with the public.

This seems to be the message between the lines of this nice slide, in which Kawasaki explains how success is actually the result of the union between a uniqueness – which taken alone would generate at most some laughter – and economic value, the only real polar star in the sky of any sensible entrepreneur.

Finally, some practical tips on how to be interesting and enjoyable on social.

According to Enzo Mari (video in Italian), the word creativity is so banal and empty of meaning that it becomes almost synonymous with approximation and lack of design. Yet this word continues to exert a great deal of fascination on the business world, designating an imponderable factor that can differentiate the excellent from the ordinary, and lead to success. A quid perfectly embodied by Steve Jobs throughout his career and well represented by Apple innovations in general. The same kind of “Stay hungry stay foolish” philosophy, perhaps a bit trite, but apparently still effective, has been brought back to the stage on Digital Convergence Day, properly remixed by Kawasaki and that seems to be, once again, the great novelty.