Innovation and Presentations: Competing Against Luck with Author & Haiku Deck user Karen Dillon

As entrepreneurs, we’re always looking to draw inspiration from innovators around us. Naturally, we were excited to learn that a member of the Haiku Deck community is doing ground-breaking work related to innovation, and best of all she’s using Haiku Deck presentations to spread the word.

Karen Dillon is the former editor of Harvard Business Review and co-author of two books with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen. How Will You Measure Your Life? was published in 2012. Dillon’s new book with Christensen (co-authored by Taddy Hall and Dave Duncan), Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, is currently featured on The Wall Street Journal‘s business best-seller list.

As entrepreneurs, we were taken by Dillon and Christensen’s ideas about innovation, and in particular why innovation is so often unsuccessful, in spite of really smart people trying to get it right—and how to, instead, make it far more predictable and successful.

We’re honored that Karen took the time to answer a few questions for us, not only about her book, but also about presentations and the way she uses Haiku Deck to help spread ideas. Here’s Karen’s Haiku Deck about her new book and below excerpts from our interview:

Competing Against Luck in brief: Karen Dillon – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Haiku Deck: One of the key concepts in your book is the “Jobs to Be Done” approach. What does this mean for companies and individuals seeking to innovate in business? Does it apply outside of business?

Dillon: Clay has been working for years on what he calls the Theory of Jobs to Be Done. The idea is that well-intended innovation goes slightly wrong so often because it’s aimed at the wrong thing. We assume we just need to know more and more about the customer, but that’s not right. Just because I’m a middle-aged white woman who lives in suburban Boston doesn’t tell companies why I make the choices I do. Why did I choose to stay in an Airbnb rather than a fancy hotel when I was recently asked to speak at a conference in London? Nothing about my profile could answer that question. What could, however, is understanding what I was ‘hiring’ Airbnb to do. In our language, we say that customer ‘hire’ products or services to do a job for them. In my case, I used to live in London and I ‘hired’ Airbnb so I could feel like a local again. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success. Understanding customer jobs does. There’s a big difference.

It applies outside of business, too. I think about the ‘jobs’ people are hiring me in my life all the time. What does a boss really expect of me? What does my husband expect of me? Key to this concept is that ‘jobs’ are not just functional – they’re emotional and social, as my Airbnb example illustrates. If I can get to the essence of what ‘job’ I’ve been hired for, I’m far more likely to be successful. I think as a professional number two for a lot of years in my career, I intuitively understood that the ‘job’ I’d been hired for was to help my boss sleep well at night. He wouldn’t worry if he knew I was on top of things. That’s very different than saying my job included X and Y and Z responsibilities.

Haiku Deck: As a former Editor of Harvard Business Review, I imagine you’ve seen (and continue to see) quite a few presentations. If you had one piece of advice for all presenters, what would it be?

Dillon: Too many words! And I’m a words person. But there’s nothing more boring than watching someone more or less read bullet points off a slide deck. People don’t prune, they don’t think of the listener. They think about how they won’t mess up or forget something, but it can make for a terrible presentation – including the fact that no one will look at you when you’re speaking; they’ll watch your slides or even worse, look down at your handouts. Which are usually identical to your slides!

Haiku Deck: How do you use Haiku Deck in your work?

Dillon: I don’t make a lot of slide decks, I’m not a PowerPoint jockey. I needed a very simple tool to help me give great speeches. I wanted images that would support the point I’m trying to make and I wanted ‘reminders’ of what I was going to say. I use Haiku Deck as a backdrop, but it’s critical to being able to stand up there and do the speech. At first I tried to create a slide deck on my own, but I quickly realized finding free (and without copyright issues) images was a lot of work and I loved being able to easily explore without those worries on Haiku Deck. I like the consistent look and feel that is created. Basically, I don’t think I could easily create these slide decks – which are critical to my speeches – without Haiku Deck.

Both of Karen’s books are available on Click to learn more about Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice and How Will You Measure Your Life?

How do you Haiku Deck in the Classroom?

With millions of teachers and students using Haiku Deck in over 15,000 schools around the world, we’re inspired each day by the different ways our users get the most from Haiku Deck. With Haiku Deck Classroom now available, teachers can get even more out of the app by creating courses and inviting students to join. Are you doing something special to make your classroom presentations more exciting? Here’s a few recent posts that show how Haiku Deck is used in education from primary-level, to adult education and professional development. Drop us a line and tell us how you use Haiku Deck in the classroom.


Limiting Decks in Unpaid Haiku Deck Public Accounts

When we launched Haiku Deck in 2012, our goal was to make it 10x faster and easier for users to build presentations that are 10x better. In our quest to reach this goal over the past 4 years, our product has evolved and so has our business. During this time we’ve made several changes to the business to ensure a bright future for Haiku Deck and the members of our community who rely upon us. This means that we are increasingly asking users to support our efforts by becoming subscribers.

One recent change to our business is that we are now asking Haiku Deck Public users with more than 3 decks to become paying subscribers.  

Why start limiting decks now?

Over the past year we have eased reluctantly towards this decision. In July 2015 we introduced paid Haiku Deck accounts for users who wanted advanced privacy, deck download, custom branding, and access to Zuru Beta. At the same time, we added ‘unlimited cloud storage’ to the list of paid features. We didn’t ask existing users to pay for unlimited storage at first because we hoped to support our costs without putting a limit on the number of decks users create. After a year of trying this approach we have to ask a little bit more from users who use the app regularly, but have not become paying subscribers.

Does this mean you’re going to delete my decks if I don’t pay?

No. It means that when you go to create a new deck, we’re going to ask you to pay. Your existing decks will remain exactly as you left them. You’ll still be able to view, edit, and share existing decks. If you like what we’ve built and want us to be there for you in the future, we hope you’ll decide to upgrade. If you don’t upgrade, we hope you’ll stay with us as a free Haiku Deck Public user.

Why subscription instead of a one-time fee?

Most cloud-based and mobile productivity tools, from Evernote to Microsoft Office, are subscription-based businesses. This industry-wide shift is a function of the costs involved with continuously creating, maintaining, and servicing cloud-based software. The cost of creating and maintaining great software is high. Software engineers are expensive. Storing data and providing customer service are expensive. To ensure that we’re here for our users when they need us and to remain competitive, we had to move to this model.

The Future of Haiku Deck

In  4 years of having Haiku Deck on the market, we have earned over 5M downloads on iTunes and grown to over 2M+ registered users. This is an achievement reached by very few startups and one that we couldn’t have dreamed of when we began. We do not take the support of our community for granted and remain committed to delivering on our mission. We regret that with this change we may lose committed members of our community, but we hope that many more will join us as subscribers. If you’re a student or educator, we offer a 50%  price break for you to help ease the cost of upgrading.

Your feedback means the world to us, so please drop us a line if you have questions or concerns. We read and respond to every email.


Team Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck Classroom Brings Haiku Deck Presentations to Students and Teachers

With back to school season in full swing, we couldn’t be happier to announce a brand-new offering for educators, Haiku Deck Classroom.  Over the past 4 years, we’ve seen over a hundred thousand teachers, librarians, and education technology professionals from 15,000 schools (from primary to universities) embrace Haiku Deck. They use the app for creating inspiring lessons on any topic, teaching presentation best-practices, and even running curriculum nights or staff meetings. We built Haiku Deck Classroom to bring the full power of Haiku Deck Pro to educators and students in a way that’s easy and, more importantly, affordable even for teachers on the tightest of budgets.

Haiku Deck Classroom makes all the features of Haiku Deck Pro available to educators and students, including unlimited presentation creation, advanced privacy settings, offline viewing and printing, and YouTube video embedding. The subscription applies to use of Haiku Deck’s award-winning web, iPad, and iPhone apps. Here’s a 1 minute video introduction of Haiku Deck Classroom:

Additional features include:

    • Classroom Management Dashboard: Educators can easily add and remove students from their classroom by email address.
    • Mobile and Web-Based: Educators and students can create or view Haiku Decks on the web, iPad, or iPhone.
    • The option of Google Classroom integration: Educators who use Google Classroom may import users from and share decks directly to Google Classroom.
    • The option of using Google Sign-In: Haiku Deck now supports Google sign-in, for students without an email address.
    • Classroom Gallery: Students can share Haiku Decks to a classroom gallery, making it easy for teachers to review and evaluate work.
    • Share to LMS: Students can easily share their Haiku Decks to Classroom Management Systems like Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, Edmodo, and more.  

Haiku Deck Classroom is offered at an introductory price of just $99/year for a teacher and up to 150 students with the option of adding student licenses. Department, school, and district pricing is also available.

To learn more about Haiku Deck Classroom and to purchase or upgrade, visit or for technical information about the product, please visit the Haiku Deck Classroom section of the Haiku Deck user guide.

As with all product updates, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please drop us a line if you’ve got questions or ideas for ways we can improve Haiku Deck Classroom in the future.

4 Haiku Deck Presentations That Make Expert Use Of Embedded YouTube Videos

Many of our users already know that paid Haiku Deck subscribers have access to our new feature that lets users search for and embed YouTube videos directly in their presentations. Here are a few examples of Haiku Deck Pro users who have made great use of this new feature to enrich their presentations. Click on the images below to view the examples and look for the triangular ‘play’ button in the bottom right corner of slides that contain videos.

1. “Deadly Illusion

What we find so effective about this use of a YouTube video is the video’s ability to showcases the cause (the unrealistic expectations of women that photoshopped images create) in a way that stills or words couldn’t. It also captures interest immediately so the presenter will have an easier time arguing his/her case.

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2. “The Path To Success

In The Path to Success, the author uses two videos that give unique and powerful examples injecting emotional energy at key moments in the presentation. Using multimedia to create an emotional response is shown to help make presentations more memorable.

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3. “Big Hairy Audacious Goals

This is a perfect example of an embedded video which would lose almost all of its oomph if the presenter had to take the time to exit and reenter the presentation. But as a video embedded in the final slide, it offers an aesthetically satisfying brand reminder.

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4. “Adolescent Stress & Anxiety
This lesson on stress and anxiety in the teenage brain includes a video from a well spoken expert on the topic, offering the presenter extra ethos and injecting  the presentation with greater meaning.

Screenshot 2016-06-23 17.15.03

How Can You Embed Youtube Videos?

Once you have a Haiku Deck Pro account, you can embed YouTube videos into your Decks by clicking the “add video” feature on the toolbar (it looks like this.)Screenshot 2016-06-23 11.17.13 Then you can paste the link to your YouTube video directly in the white box, or search a term to discover the perfect video from the swath of options our app provides! Learn more about this feature here.

Show Off Your Contributions!

Have a Deck featuring a sweet implementation of an embedded YouTube video? Send it our way at for a chance to be featured in a post we hope to make soon; “4 More Decks That Make Expert Use Of Embedded YouTube Videos!”

Haiku Deck Supports Google Sign-In

We’re happy to announce that Haiku Deck for web, iPad and iPhone now supports Google Sign-In for logging into the app on the web, iPad, and iPhone. This is especially exciting for educators with students who use Google IDs in lieu of email addresses as it provides an all-new way for users to create accounts without using an email address.

To create an account using your Google sign-in, just look for the Google logo on the sign in page on the web app, iPad or iPhone apps.

If you’re already using your Google sign-in email to sign into Haiku Deck, you should continue to sign in as you always have, by typing your email address and password.


This is the latest in an ongoing effort to make Haiku Deck work better for teachers who use the app in the classroom for a wide range of activities. If you missed it earlier this year we added ‘share to Google Classroom‘ as a feature of our share tool.

If you’re an educator looking for inspiration on different ways to use Haiku Deck in your work, check out some of the examples and templates below:

How are you using Haiku Deck in your classroom? We’d love to hear from you!

Nonprofit Fundraising Presentations: Guest Q&A with Goalbusters founder Alice Ferris

Every day we see more nonprofits using Haiku Deck for fundraising presentations that tell the story of their cause, inspire donors and deliver results. When we  saw Alice Ferris’ Haiku Decks, we knew she could offer great insight and inspiration to help even more NPO’s with their presentations.fundraising presentation guru, alice ferris

Alice is founder of GoalBusters, a consultancy that helps small to mid-size nonprofit organizations build resources and do better with what they have. With over 25 years of experience, Alice and her team provide hands on fundraising services, strategic planning, and customized training throughout North America. She’s also a huge fan of Haiku Deck.

Guest Q&A

What inspired you to first start using Haiku Deck?

Like a lot of people, I have some pet peeves when I am in presentations. One peeve is too many words on the screen, made even worse if they read them. The other peeve is the clearly identifiable PowerPoint template. I was looking for something that I could use that would be more visual, and stumbled upon Haiku Deck.

What are some reasons you that recommend Haiku Deck to nonprofits?

As much as the general public thinks that fundraising is about money, it isn’t. Fundraising is really about building relationships and sharing stories. And stories are more powerful if they are visual!  Haiku Deck gives organizations an easy tool to tell their story in pictures…in fact, I like that Haiku Deck practically forces you to think visually!              

I also like that Haiku Deck is simple. Too many times, I’ve seen nonprofits stymied with creating a visual story because they have too many options. Analysis paralysis! With Haiku Deck, there are easy templates so that organizations can put together a presentation quickly and effectively.
Fundraising for Small Shops – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

What advice do you have for nonprofits when it comes to sharing their story and inspiring their communities?

First thing is to identify who your audience is and what their connection is, or might be, to your story. That way, you can focus on what words and images will resonate with them, rather than what works for you. The other thing that I share with organizations a lot is, don’t be afraid to put yourself and your listener in the story. It’s a way for you to connect with your listener by sharing a common perspective or feeling.

What are some tips you offer to nonprofits for using technology to better market their organizations?

Technology is not the magic bullet, but it is a very useful tool. There are so many good tools that are inexpensive or free that can help with marketing. That’s not to say that you should never pay for marketing–in fact, organizations should have a marketing budget. We like to focus on what’s the best use of those resources. Most of the time, if you invest in the right person to craft the message and create the campaigns, you can use inexpensive technology to distribute the message. You have to have the right content!

If you had to sum up the benefits of Haiku Deck for nonprofits, what would you say?

Haiku Deck helps nonprofits tell their story in a easy to create, compelling, visual way.

Here’s one more of our favorite presentations from Alice, on creating a plan for a healthy and sustainable development program for your nonprofit organization. 
Holistic Fundraising: Creating a Plan for a Healthy and Sustainable Development Program – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Thank you Alice for sharing your experience with us! To learn more about her work,  follow Alice Ferris on Twitter and visit her website. To view more of Alice’s Haiku Decks, visit her Haiku Deck user profile page.

Do you use Haiku Deck in your nonprofit? Email us your story!

How Teacher, Education Consultant, Author, and TEDx Presenter Mary Myatt Uses Haiku Deck To Plan Lessons and Talks

Recently we observed veteran teacher, education adviser, and author Mary Myatt on Twitter talking with a colleague about how she uses Haiku Deck in teaching lessons and planning.  Given her success as an author, TEDx presenter, teacher, and education consultant, we were inspired to learn more about her work and share her unique experience using Haiku Deck in her work.

Mary works in schools across the United Kingdom, talking to students, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. With over 20 years of experience, she has taught religious education, English, Latin and Greek in secondary schools. She has also done work to support school improvement and curriculum development for local districts, dioceses and others.

Guest Q&A

What inspired you to start using Haiku Deck?

I noticed a presentation on Twitter and was struck by the quality of the images. I saw it was by Haiku Deck, downloaded and got going. It is a complete counterpoint to the heavy handed, clunky, cumbersome alternatives. It transformed my presentations, not only in terms of aesthetics but also in terms of the clarity of my thinking.

What is your approach for using Haiku Deck with Lesson Planning?

I use Haiku Deck for conveying the main concepts in my keynotes, presentations and seminars. I find that linking the key words and concepts to an image does two things: it helps me to clarify my thinking and it gives my audience a powerful hook that links to the main ideas. The pictures and images produce a stimulus for discussion and as a result I have an insight into their points of view and can adjust my talk accordingly.
(here’s an example of one of Mary’s Haiku Decks)

Copy of Gathering evidence – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

What are some other ways you think teachers could benefit from using Haiku Deck in the classroom?

Providing images which link to the key concepts to be taught provides high challenge and low threat for students. It is high challenge, because they have to make the links between an image and an idea; it is also low threat because all responses are legitimate. This means that teachers have an insight into their students’ thinking. There has been some interesting work developed by The National Gallery in London on ‘Take One Picture.’

Your book focuses on lessons school management teams can learn from leaders in other sectors. Can you share some of the key ideas from your research that would be helpful to the educators who use Haiku Deck in their schools?

I’ve written extensively about a few ideas on my blog. Some relevant posts include, Focusing on the essentials,  High challenge, low threat,  and On trust.

You mentioned that you used Haiku Deck TEDx Norwich in March 2016. What did you do to prepare for that talk? What kind of feedback did you get from members of the audience afterwards?

I distilled my ideas down to the key points I wanted to convey. I decided not to use any text, and talked just to the images. I edited my ideas down to the key essentials and Haiku Deck helped me to do this. Some feedback from my talk is captured on Storify

Thank you, Mary for sharing your experience with us! If you’d like to view Mary’s inspiring TEDx Norwich Talk, click below. Also, follow Mary Myatt on Twitter and visit her web site to learn more about her work. To view more of Mary’s Haiku Decks, visit her Haiku Deck user profile page.

Easily Create, Edit, Share Presentations on iPhone with Haiku Deck 4.0

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Introducing Haiku Deck 4.0!

With mobile usage beginning to outpace desktop usage as a global trend, we’ve been getting more and more requests for improvements to Haiku Deck for iPhone. Today we’re proud to announce the all new Haiku Deck 4.0- the first truly-native iPhone presentation app. Whether you’re prepping for a client meeting on the road, struck by inspiration in a cafe, or just making a quick update to the big presentation that starts in a few minutes, Haiku Deck 4.0 for iPhone lets you:

Best of all, Haiku Deck 4.0 is FREE to download from iTunes today

Mobile-First iPhone Presentations

We like to think of Haiku Deck 4.0 as the first (and only) app designed to be mobile-first. We’ve got mobile in our DNA, so rather than cram a desktop app into a phone, we’ve made things easier for iPhone presentation creators by reducing the amount of tiny-keyboard tapping. For example, Haiku Deck for iPhone integrates Voice-to-Text technology and automatically delivers image search tags from the content you enter when creating slides. By limiting the number of words on each slide, Haiku Deck for iPhone helps you create presentations that looks great on any size screen- from a 3″ phone screen to the Jumbotron at your next big conference.

Want to learn more about the app? We’ve got special section of our user guide that explains everything you need to know about creating, editing, and sharing iPhone presentations. We’ve also got a cool video to show how it works.

Just in case you missed our last update, Haiku Deck web app now includes a handful of handy new updates like the ability to search for and embed YouTube videos (more) and auto-playback & looping presentations (more). If you’re an iPad Pro user, 4.0 supports slide-over and split view for multi-tasking (more).

Like what you see in 4.0? We would appreciate your review on iTunes. Find things that we should improve? Please drop us a line. We’re thrilled to bring Haiku Deck to hundreds of millions of iPhone users, so if you like what we’ve built and know an aspiring iPhone presentation creator, please help us spread the word!

New Presentation Page Navigation, Looping Presentation Control, and Video Playback

We’re proud to announce our new playback page today with tons of great new features to make Haiku Deck better than ever. Here’s the run down:

New YouTube Video Playback

click to play video

Deck creators can now embed YouTube videos directly into their decks. To learn how to include videos in your presentation, click here. If you’re viewing a presentation with  a YouTube embed, you’ll notice a play button in the bottom right of the slide. Click to play the YouTube video from within the presentation!

New Loop and Auto Playback Settingsnew playback controlsWant to set your presentation to automatically advance or loop? This is a feature request we hear frequently from customers who want Haiku Decks to automatically play at a trade show booth, on a lobby monitor, or even at a Pecha Kucha event. Click the gear icon on the playback page to access these controls.

New Slide Navigation Controls

You may noticed that we’ve moved the slide controls to a more convenient location. To advance slides (or go backwards) look for the arrow buttons shown here. Keyboard arrow controls will also advance slides (left arrow to go forward, right arrow to go back).

new grid viewNew Grid view

Want to navigate directly to a specific slide in your presentation? Use the grid control to instantly see your slide thumbnails. Click on one of the slides to navigate directly there.

New Notes Appear on Mobile

notes on mobile

As more and more presentation viewers open Haiku Decks on small screens, it has become more important to show public notes in that context. The new playback page does just that as shown below.

Other new elements of the playback page include a better layout for mobile browsers, and significantly faster page load time.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Let us know what you think about the updated playback page by dropping us an email any time!

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