Archive for May, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook Enlivens Stats with Context

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

CEOs who understand the power of stories enliven their presentations with tales that illustrate their points. Apple CEO Tim Cook uses another, related communication tool to help an audience understand the importance of what he’s saying: he uses analogies to put statistics in context.

For example, author and communication coach Carmine Gallo shares how Cook did this in a 2010 presentation. Telling the audience that the Mac business was still important to Apple even though the iPhone makes a lot more money, Cook said that if the Mac division were a separate company, its revenues of $22 billion would  place it #122 on the Fortune 500 list.

“I thought, ‘What a brilliant technique!” Gallo told a reporter for the Associated Press. “He does that all the time…. You can’t teach passion. Every great communicator is abundantly passionate about–not necessarily the product–but what the product means to society. And that is an attitude that pervades Apple’s executive office, and it starts with Tim Cook.”

 

Internet Entrepreneur Looks for Passion Around a Story

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

The founder of Expedia and Zillow, who is also a venture capitalist, said in a recent talk that when he’s evaluating another entrepreneur’s pitch, “I look more for passion around a story and idea than I do around a spreadsheet.” As reported by Brier Dudley, technology columnist for The Seattle Times, Rich Barton went on to say, “I’m a PowerPoint guy, not an Excel guy.

“Spreadsheets never work out the way the entrepreneurs and the venture capitalists think they’re going to work out. We all know that,” Barton explained. “Rarely does the company end up being what the original idea was, anyway (and) it’s very difficult to plan the unplannable.”

A young Microsoft manager when he created Expedia, which later was spun off and became the world’s largest travel business, Rich Barton clearly knows what to look for when evaluating ideas for new tech companies. He’s now a partner in Silicon Valley’s Benchmark Capital, which owned 20 percent of Instagram before it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.