Pense Simples - Gustavo Caetano

Pense Simples - Gustavo Caetano

Discover how to take the first step to be innovative, disruptive and get your ideas off the ground.

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You probably had some idea that made you think, "Wow! It would be so good if it existed!" However, "this" does not exist.

That's where you may ask: What's missing so that "this" can exist? What's missing for someone to get this idea off the paper?

In this summary we want you to understand how to take ideas off the paper, or how to turn an idea into something even better - that is, to innovate! And so, understand how to undertake considering this.

Are you interested? So you are in the right place!

About the book "Pense Simples"

Published in 2017, Gustavo Caetano brings in "Think Simple" (in a free English translation), reflections and conclusions about innovation and creativity obtained from his own experience. So the book focuses on giving tips on how to get ideas off the paper and move forward, achieving success.

In 10 chapters, the author will present his experiences and show us how we can put into practice in our daily lives the lessons he has learned. Structured to facilitate reading, Caetano proposes exercises and indicates complementary materials.

About the author Gustavo Caetano

Elected as one of the most influential Brazilian on the internet, according to the website Linkedin and GQ magazine, Gustavo Caetano has gone through universities like MIT, Syngularity, Stanford and Disney University, studying and becoming an expert in innovation and creativity.

With an enviable curriculum, the CEO of Samba Tech - a reference company in the online video market and elected one of the most innovative companies in the world - has already passed through different countries talking about innovation. Caetano has titles such as Entrepreneur of the Year, Globo and Visa publisher award. He is one of the 50 most innovative people in Brazil, according to M&M and Proxxima Magazine.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is indicated to anyone interested in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, because the author discusses many topics that are interconnected with them, helping to take ideas off the paper, be open to new ideas and how to act in the market.

Main ideas of the book "Pense Simples"

The book seeks to bring a step-by-step approach to innovating, addressing the following points:

  • The relationship between failure and success;
  • What is and how to develop innovative DNA;
  • How simplicity acts as an essential point in facilitating innovation;
  • The importance of agility and lightness in the continuity of the innovative characteristic;
  • Get out of the comfort zone and do not settle for the established pattern of things.

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[Book Summary] Pense Simples - Gustavo Caetano

Overview: "Nothing Lasts Forever"

In this first chapter, we have a story of success and failure, something that is very important for our learning.

Here the author tells the entrepreneurial history of his grandfather and his cork factory, thermal insulation material widely used in refrigerators and corks.

In the period after World War II, the factory was a reference in the subject, being a Brazilian power. However, a new product appeared, cheaper, lighter and with insulation capacity equal to that of cork: styrofoam.

By not believing in the success of styrofoam, the company insisted on the manufacture and sale of cork, losing market share and closing its doors in 1980.

The Speed of Change

The world is constantly changing, and when we look at the history of the cork mill and the emergence of styrofoam, we realize how important adaptation to these changes is to entrepreneurs.

Because of these ongoing transformations, audience preferences change, the characteristics of the environment change, and consequently, you also need to change.

And the changes are occurring ever faster and with ever shorter cycles. It takes a critical and analytical look to know when and how to change. For this, there are entrepreneurial characteristics that we need to develop.

Overview: "Innovative DNA"

There is a biblical tale about a sleazy soldier who, against all expectations, has defeated a giant once considered invincible. Thus came the story of how David defeated Goliath. Nowadays, that story fits perfectly into the world we live in.

Often, being small may be related to being insignificant and weak, but in the entrepreneurial world this does not occur. Through creation and transformation, any company, however small, can bother large corporations.

Let's look at some examples: Whatsapp came out as a small mobile app, popularized, grew and was bought by billions by Facebook. The same happened with Skype, purchased by Microsoft, and Waze, purchased by Google. By bothering the giants, "Davids" make them act, and those who do not act can be left behind.

Those are just a few examples of cases where David defeated Goliath. And all this has become possible by the way information is disseminated. New technologies and globalization have enabled this, generating new opportunities and contributing to the emergence of new Davids every day.

But a David is not made just by information and technology. All the mentioned companies have something in common that guides their actions and allows them to be successful: the purpose.

Gustavo Caetano brings in his book the importance of purpose, that is, having a goal with your company. The big point is to have a goal that will motivate you and all the employees. Having this well defined, you will have a purpose, and with a purpose, innovating will be more natural.

Overview: "Why not?"

We could say that having a detailed plan is always a must, but that would not be true. This is because not always a plan, a business plan or data analysis, will reflect what is really going to happen.

As the book "Think Simple" states: change is constant. A planning done today may not reflect the reality in six months. So the author recommends not spending time planning, but executing, because by executing, we can develop scalable businesses, that is, businesses that reach a larger scale at a lower cost.

Many large companies have already made big plans and were wrong, like Varig and Kodak. Now I ask you: where are these companies today? Exactly! In these cases, planning did not reflect reality and led to the downfall of them.

Therefore, in the entrepreneurial world it is necessary to risk and to learn from mistakes, so that it is possible to correct them more quickly. That way, the sooner we make the mistake, the more time we'll have to learn.

Finally, the author brings us 3 reasons to plan less and execute more. They are:

  1. The world is fast and changes too fast;
  2. Other people may have had the same idea as you;
  3. Executing is cheap.

Overview: "The Logic of Simplicity"

The "logic of simplicity" chapter tries to show that the best ideas come from the simplest problems. According to Gustavo Caetano, a problem does not have to be extremely complex to have good results. It may be a small question, but with good ideas to solve it, it can generate exponential profits.

So, if you have an idea, however simple it is, invest in it! This can bring great results.

Sardines and Sharks

However, waiting for ideas to fall from the sky and for them to succeed naturally is not enough. It is necessary to leave the famous "comfort zone", because outside of it, our vision is transformed, becomes more critical, we come to perceive the details easier, because we are not familiar with that.

In the book "Think Simple", it is highlighted the metaphor of sardines and sharks, where sardines swim with sharks and sharks swim with sardines. And we, as mere sardines, need to chase after the sharks, so we'll be in a new environment, we'll leave the comfort zone and it will be possible to expand our thoughts.

Overview: "Ask for Help"

When we approach the entrepreneurial world, we can not don't speak about humility. Gustavo Caetano brings in this chapter the importance of this value in the development of his ideas and in the conduct of his company.

Speaking of humility, it's to talk about seeking help. After all, no one achieves success alone. So, always look around and see how the people can assist in your development, as these people can complement experiences.

We realize the need to have a network, people that you can consult, because if you are in doubt, or do not understand something, surely there will be someone who understands and can help you. In other words, being surrounded by good people is synonymous with success.

Parallel to this, the author brings the importance of having a council, people who have more experience and can give better advice. Do you remember the sharks? So swim with the sharks and seek advice from them.

Overview: "Between Map and Land, Choose - Always - Land"

Map is synonymous with security and planning. Having a map means knowing which way you should go. But what if the map is incorrect?

The land is constantly changing, so a map today may not be useful tomorrow. Thus, contradictions can occur. In these cases, always choose the land, adapt, know how to follow its path based on what it offers.

From this, be able to read and monitor the land, perceive what is changing and how it is changing in the market, understanding the scenario and the variables, allowing you to put into practice your power of adaptation, or even know the moment your idea has lost its value, that it is time to put resilience into practice and follow the new paths proposed.

Overview: "Do not Miss People From Sight"

Purpose is essential to motivate employees, as unmotivated employees will not be helping to achieve the purpose. For this, the company needs to stimulate this motivation, or, as the author points out,

"create a place where employees love to be."

Thus, transparency, communication and recognition are some of the factors that contribute to the motivation of the team and, allowing greater participation of all in the company, everyone can be motivated and follow the common goal.

Another important factor that arises and influences motivation is empowerment. Empowering people encourages participation and increases motivation.

A place where everyone participates in the construction of strategic planning increases the sense of responsibility and promotes employee ownership, making the stimulus much more efficient.

Attitudes such as those cited above make big teams, because a highly motivated, qualified and committed team enables high development and contributes to success.

Overview: "Be Agile and Light"

In today's world of continual transformation, you need to be agile, light and lean. And with that, you need to learn to do more with less, doing faster and better.

"Ideas only become reality when you test."

This sentence translates very well the purpose of this topic: to get the idea out of paper, you have to test it, and for that you need to be agile, because the sooner you test, the sooner you can fail, and thus test again, repeating the cycle until you reach your goal.

Bowling Game

Another insight presented in this chapter is about the bowling pins. In this metaphor, each bowling pin is a problem to be solved, so it is no use trying to knock down all the pins at once, as some can continue standing.

Gustavo says that we should focus on one pine at a time. For this, it is necessary to select the pin, to focus on the solution and, when the solution is consolidated, one must select the next pin. Soon, attacking one pin at a time, eventually everyone will be knocked over - or, speaking in terms of bowling, it will be a strike.

Overview: "Success Begins Small"

Being small brings great benefits such as being open to listen to other people. Listen to suggestions, feedbacks and know how to improve from the perceptions of customers.

So focus on listening, collect perceptions of customers and employees as well. Enjoying being small allows you to test and make mistakes and use that virtue to develop your business.

Opinions are always welcome, because of this, a great practice to be used is crowdsourcing. This practice consists of bringing together a group of people and spreading an idea, consequently discussions will take place and it will be possible to collect perspectives on the idea and collect new ones that may arise.

Overview: "Do not Believe in 'It's Always Been That'"

Finally, Gustavo Caetano arises the following thinking:

"Think of which companies, throughout your life, have established ties as a consumer; but real ties, to the point of twisting about the success of that organization and feeling part of it in some way."

On top of this questioning, is the reflection that small businesses often create such links - like the bakery you go to - but with large companies this does not occur.

So the big challenge is to build relationships with customers, bringing the feeling of loyalty and reputation, because customers with links make the word of mouth and spread the name of the brand. And with the ties created, it's easier for David to defeat the Goliath.

What do other authors say about it?

Ed Catmull, author of the book "Creativity Inc" advises: always give preference to people rather than to ideas because creative people create good ideas, but good ideas can be destroyed by bad teams.

The author of "Traction", Gino Wickman explores how successful entrepreneurs have an attractive and well-defined vision for their business. In addition, they know how to communicate this message to employees. From this, a guideline is created to be followed by everyone within the organization, always used to develop solutions and guide strategic actions.

In "The Effective Executive", Peter F. Drucker clarifies that executives can be brilliant, imaginative, and informed, yet inefficient. Effective executives are systematic. They work hard in the right areas and their results define them. They are knowledge professionals who help the company to beat its goals.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Innovating and undertaking are concepts that can generate many doubts. However, the book offers a step-by-step guide that you can use:

  • Be aware of the land, paying attention to the problems that affect you and affect others;
  • Do not settle for "it's always been that way,". Realize when something needs to change;
  • Be aware of the changes and know the time to change;
  • Have a purpose;
  • Focus more on execution and less on planning;
  • Seek others, seek help;
  • Form an engaged team.

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Book 'Pense Simples'