Saturday, November 5, 2011

Morning Keynote from Intuit CEO Brad Smith

A very warm welcome to Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, market leader for financial software for small businesses and individuals.  

Phenomenal speaker, innovative leader, and clear visionary for the future.

Brad Smith, CEO, Intuit

Highlights, paraphrased here, from Brad's speech:
  • When first becoming CEO, the advice given to Brad was resoundingly similar.  First, listen.  Second, get an outside in view.
  • Intuit didn't have first mover advantage.  But it was 47th mover.  But it understood easy of use and understood the customer and what was important for them to improve their financial lives.
  • "Social, mobile, global" didn't become popular because it rhymed.  It became popular because it was a vision that was so inspiring that people knew what to do, even if we were not yet there.  It was a soccer net at the end of a field where everyone could clearly see the goal.
  • No team should be bigger than one that 2 pizzas can feed
  • It took only 3 people to build the TurboTax app (1 pizza could feed them).  It was so popular that it displaced Angry Birds during the tax season!  

Brad also shared a few pieces of wisdom from others as key takeaways, paraphrased here:
  • Mark Twain once said that a wise man learns from his own mistakes but a genius learns from the mistakes of others.
  • JFK was better than a great communicator.  He was a translator of dreams.   
  • Warren Buffet invests in great companies that even monkeys can run, because if you wait long enough, a monkey will run it. 
  • Peter Drucker: The bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle.  Brad Smith: As a leader, ask who is getting in the way.
  • Steve Jobs: My favorite products are the ones we didn't build, because that's what made the ones we built even more special and impactful.  Brad Smith: First lesson we have to learn - put our wood behind fewer arrows.

Finally, a joke from the Valley to leave y'all with.  

Q: Why was it so easy for God to create heaven and earth in seven days?  
A: Because it didn't have to deal with an installed base and legacy technology

Big smiles from the Cyberposium team - we hope the rest of the day is as great as Brad's speech this morning!

Audience looks on during Brad Smith's speech

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