What Sparks Innovation

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  1. "Einstein started from scratch!"
  2. "Edison = scratch!"
  3. "Picasso = scratch!"

You know why most of us suck at innovating?

  • Think about a typical "inventions" show.
  • Think about the f-u-g product ideas you heard last week.
  • Think about that product your company launched years ago.

What happened?

  1. We think innovations come from some spark.
  2. So, we isolate ourselves from the world -- waiting until that little "breakthrough" hits.
  3. When we think it hits, and throw it to the markets, what happens? FAIL. (you = out-of-touch)

True innovations don't happen in isolation; the more we isolate ourselves, the more the world whizzes pass us -- eroding our opportunity to change the !@^^^@ world.

The greatest inventions?

Get this: They're byproducts.

Capitalize on Knowledge

What inspired the greatest innovators?

  • Model T: Ransom Olds (Oldsmobile)
  • Orville Brothers: Flight chasers who ignored safety.
  • Rosa Parks: Jackie Robinson who stood pat a decade prior (among many others).
  • Google's 20% time: Xerox's 15% time

Oh, and:

  • Gates: Jobs
  • Jobs: Xerox
  • Xerox: SRI
  • Yadda.

Innovations happen systematically (or an evolutionary process):

  1. Suck.
  2. Suck less.
  3. Suck lesser.
  4. Suck lesserer.
  5. Suck lessererer.

The recipe to innovation:

  1. Capitalize on what the world has already given you.
  2. Make it better.

Google @!^@$. Capitalize.

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Posted on November 17

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