Innovation Guide


 


blog.kissmetrics.com/innovation-guide

Do you ever wish you could build something so great that people and the media would get just as excited as they do when Apple launches a new product?
Or, do you ever wish that (because of your innovation), your company would rise in value so fast that the world’s biggest social media network would buy it for $1 billion?

An innovation like that would change your life forever. It’s the dream of every entrepreneur.
While there is no formula for creating revolutionary products, there are some critical elements of innovation that will promote their development.

This simple guide will help.

1. You can plan innovation

You may not be able to plan a specific and predictable sort of innovation…but you can create a culture in which people put a high premium on innovation. That kind of culture starts at the top.

In their early days, Google allowed employees to spend 20 percent of their time on pet projects. That led to some DOA products like Buzz, but it also set the stage for some killer ideas like Gmail.

The founder of GE, Thomas Edison, created an atmosphere that valued innovation by:

  • Encouraging collaboration
  • Encouraging mistakes
  • Demanding one major invention every six months and one small one every ten days

If you think about it, Steve Jobs did the same thing in his company, pushing his people to invent and then innovate products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money

The beauty of information software is that everything is basically free. In the old days, a company would have needed tens of thousands of dollars just to get the software for their product. Now, with open source movement, cloud storage and a whole range of free sources, expenses are reduced drastically.

The makers of Angry Birds—Rovio—innovated cheaply, which paid off big for them when they went public in 2012, at an estimated worth of $1 billion. Leer más “Innovation Guide”

Anuncios

The electric light was a failure.


nytimes.com | http://goo.gl/6wVwA 

Invented by the British chemist Humphry Davyin the early 1800s, it spent nearly 80 years being passed from one initially hopeful researcher to

The incandescent light bulb

another, like some not-quite-housebroken puppy. In 1879, Thomas Edison finally figured out how to make an incandescent light bulb that people would buy. But that didn’t mean the technology immediately became successful. It took another 40 years, into the 1920s, for electric utilities to become stable, profitable businesses.

And even then, success happened only because the utilities created other reasons to consume electricity. They invented the electric toaster and the electric curling iron and found lots of uses for electric motors. They built Coney Island. They installed electric streetcar lines in any place large enough to call itself a town. All of this, these frivolous gadgets and pleasurable diversions, gave us the light bulb.

We tend to rewrite the histories of technological innovation, making myths about a guy who had a great idea that changed the world. In reality, though, innovation isn’t the goal; it’s everything that gets you there. It’s bad financial decisions and blueprints for machines that weren’t built until decades later. It’s the important leaps forward that synthesize lots of ideas, and it’s the belly-up failures that teach us what not to do.

When we ignore how innovation actually works, we make it hard to see what’s happening right in front of us today. If you don’t know that the incandescent light was a failure before it was a success, it’s easy to write off some modern energy innovations — like solar panels — because they haven’t hit the big time fast enough.

Worse, the fairy-tale view of history implies that innovation has an end. It doesn’t. What we want and what we need keeps changing. The incandescent light was a 19th-century failure and a 20th- century success. Now it’s a failure again, edged out by new technologies, like LEDs, that were, themselves, failures for many years.

That’s what this issue is about: all the little failures, trivialities and not-quite-solved mysteries that make the successes possible. This is what innovation looks like. It’s messy, and it’s awesome. Maggie Koerth-Baker

Physicists at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric that doubles as a spare outlet. When used to line your shirt — or even your pillowcase or office chair — it converts subtle differences in temperature across the span of the clothing (say, from your cuff to your armpit) into electricity. And because the different parts of your shirt can vary by about 10 degrees, you could power up your MP3 player just by sitting still. According to the fabric’s creator, David Carroll, a cellphone case lined with the material could boost the phone’s battery charge by 10 to 15 percent over eight hours, using the heat absorbed from your pants pocket. Richard Morgan

Chris Nosenzo
Soon, coffee isn’t going to taste like coffee — at least not the dark, ashy roasts we drink today. Big producers want uniform taste, and a dark roast makes that easy: it evens out flavors and masks flaws. But now the best beans are increasingly being set aside and shipped in vacuum-sealed packs (instead of burlap bags). Improvements like these have allowed roasters to make coffee that tastes like Seville oranges or toasted almonds or berries, and that sense of experimentation is trickling down to the mass market; Starbucks, for instance, now has a Blonde Roast. As quality continues to improve, coffee will lighten, and dark roasts may just become a relic of the past. Oliver Strand
Your spandex can now subtly nag you to work out. A Finnish company, Myontec, recently began marketing underwear embedded with electromyographic sensors that tell you how hard you’re working your quadriceps, hamstring and gluteus muscles. It then sends that data to a computer for analysis. Although the skintight shorts are being marketed to athletes and coaches, they could be useful for the deskbound. The hope, according to Arto Pesola, who is working on an advanced version of the sensors, is that when you see data telling you just how inert you really are, you’ll be inspired to lead a less sedentary life. Gretchen Reynolds

Linguistic Myths and Adventures in Etymology

Or maybe you’re too posh to play along this way. Another widely held linguistic urban legend claims “posh” was an abbreviation for “port out, starboard home” stamped on tickets to designate the shadier and more luxurious sides of the ship when traveling between England and India. Yet, no tickets have been uncovered with “POSH” stamped on them, and evidence exists from the late 19th century of the use of the word posh in a similar way as it is used today. While its exact source is unknown, posh may derive from a Romani or an Urdu word, referring variously to money, a dandy, well-dressed, affluent. Phrases like “port out, starboard home” to define the word posh are sometimes called “backronyms” as we work backwards from the letters to an invented phrase and end up creating what appears to be an original acronym.


The folk wisdom built up around common English expressions is often wrong, but it can be fun ferreting out the real origins.Linguistic Myths

Stories of the origin of the term “OK” are all over the map. (Marko Tomicic/Shutterstock)
http://www.miller-mccune.com 

Or maybe you’re too posh to play along this way. Another widely held linguistic urban legend claims “posh” was an abbreviation for “port out, starboard home” stamped on tickets to designate the shadier and more luxurious sides of the ship when traveling between England and India. Yet, no tickets have been uncovered with “POSH” stamped on them, and evidence exists from the late 19th century of the use of the word posh in a similar way as it is used today. While its exact source is unknown, posh may derive from a Romani or an Urdu word, referring variously to money, a dandy, well-dressed, affluent. Phrases like “port out, starboard home” to define the word posh are sometimes called “backronyms” as we work backwards from the letters to an invented phrase and end up creating what appears to be an original acronym. Leer más “Linguistic Myths and Adventures in Etymology”

14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas

There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now.

Innovation, they reason, is the competitive edge.

What sparks innovation? People. What sparks people? Inspired ideas that meet a need — whether expressed or unexpressed — ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support.

Is there anything a person can do — beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings — to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas?

Yes, there is.

And it begins with the awareness of where ideas come from in the first place.

There are two schools of thought on this subject.

The first school ascribes the origin of ideas to inspired individuals who, through a series of purposeful mental processes, conjure up the new and the different — cerebral wizards, if you will.

The second school of thought ascribes the appearance of ideas to a transcendent force, a.k.a. the “Collective Unconscious,” the “Platonic Realm,” the “Muse” or the “Mind of God.”

creativity2.jpg

According to this perspective, ideas are not created, but already exist, becoming accessible only to those human beings who have sufficiently tuned themselves to receive them.

The first approach is considered Western, with a strong bias towards thinking and is best summarized by Rene Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” maxim. Most business people subscribe to this approach.

The second approach is usually considered Eastern, with a strong bias towards feeling, and is best summarized by the opposite of the Cartesian view: “I am therefore, I think.” Most artists and “creative types” are associated with this approach, with its focus on intuitive knowing.

Both approaches are valid. Both are effective. Both are used at different times by all of us, depending on our mood, circumstances, and conditioning.

What does all of this have to do with you — oh aspiring innovator?

Plenty, since you are a hybrid of the above-mentioned schools of thought.

That’s what this Manifesto is all about — a quick-hitting tutorial of what you can do to more dependably conjure up brilliant ideas.


http://www.ideachampions.com

There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now.

Innovation, they reason, is the competitive edge.

What sparks innovation? People. What sparks people? Inspired ideas that meet a need — whether expressed or unexpressed — ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support.

Is there anything a person can do — beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings — to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas?

Yes, there is.

And it begins with the awareness of where ideas come from in the first place.

There are two schools of thought on this subject.

The first school ascribes the origin of ideas to inspired individuals who, through a series of purposeful mental processes, conjure up the new and the different — cerebral wizards, if you will.

The second school of thought ascribes the appearance of ideas to a transcendent force, a.k.a. the “Collective Unconscious,” the “Platonic Realm,” the “Muse” or the “Mind of God.”

creativity2.jpg

According to this perspective, ideas are not created, but already exist, becoming accessible only to those human beings who have sufficiently tuned themselves to receive them.

The first approach is considered Western, with a strong bias towards thinking and is best summarized by Rene Descartes‘ “I think therefore I am” maxim. Most business people subscribe to this approach.

The second approach is usually considered Eastern, with a strong bias towards feeling, and is best summarized by the opposite of the Cartesian view: “I am therefore, I think.” Most artists and “creative types” are associated with this approach, with its focus on intuitive knowing.

Both approaches are valid. Both are effective. Both are used at different times by all of us, depending on our mood, circumstances, and conditioning.

What does all of this have to do with you — oh aspiring innovator?

Plenty, since you are a hybrid of the above-mentioned schools of thought.

That’s what this Manifesto is all about — a quick-hitting tutorial of what you can do to more dependably conjure up brilliant ideas. Leer más “14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas”

Rethinking Failure

Tried anything recently that didn’t quite work out? Congratulations! You’re on your way to a breakthrough.

Bottom line, there is no innovation without “failure.” If your perception of failure is “something to avoid,” you can kiss innovation goodbye. Failure comes with the territory. If the word puts you in a foul mood, use another one — like “experiment,” for example.

* “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” — Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM
* “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” — Miles Davis
* “99 percent of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering
* “I have not failed once. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” — Thomas Edison
* “An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.” — Charles Kettering
* “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
* “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
* “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace
* “When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to laugh at ourselves.” — Katherine Mansfield


by Mitch Ditkoff

Rethinking FailureTried anything recently that didn’t quite work out? Congratulations! You’re on your way to a breakthrough.

Bottom line, there is no innovation without “failure.” If your perception of failure is “something to avoid,” you can kiss innovation goodbye. Failure comes with the territory. If the word puts you in a foul mood, use another one — like “experiment,” for example.

  • “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” — Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM
  • “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” — Miles Davis
  • “99 percent of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering
  • “I have not failed once. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” — Thomas Edison
  • “An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.” — Charles Kettering
  • “Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
  • “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace
  • “When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to laugh at ourselves.” — Katherine Mansfield Leer más “Rethinking Failure”

PwC iPlace – Six Factors Behind Our Success

It is becoming increasingly important to accelerate innovation by discovering, developing, and implementing ideas that increase the speed of delivering new products and services. Here at PwC, and as in other organizations, people are bubbling over with ideas and creative ways to deliver more value to clients. There is a great opportunity with the use of social media to tap into the collective knowledge of people. We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and created a way for our people to share, collaborate, and expand on ideas. As Thomas Edison once said – “There’s a way to do it better—find it.” And find it we did.

Just one year ago, we launched our firm’s first online idea management platform, PwC iPlace, and provided a way for our people to share ideas and find inspiration in an open and interactive online forum. As they say, “if you build it they will come”, and boy…did the ideas come. In just one year – the response has been tremendous as we’ve generated over 2,000 ideas, 10,000 comments, and 40,000 votes.

So why did we have such great success in the first year? Here are six key factors we think are why…


Michele McConomy  |  US Innovation Office Manager, PwC

It is becoming increasingly important to accelerate innovation by discovering, developing, and implementing ideas that increase the speed of delivering new products and services.  Here at PwC, and as in other organizations, people are bubbling over with ideas and creative ways to deliver more value to clients.  There is a great opportunity with the use of social media to tap into the collective knowledge of people.   We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and created a way for our people to share, collaborate, and expand on ideas.  As Thomas Edison once said – “There’s a way to do it better—find it.”  And find it we did.

Just one year ago, we launched our firm’s first online idea management platform, PwC iPlace, and provided a way for our people to share ideas and find inspiration in an open and interactive online forum.  As they say, “if you build it they will come”, and boy…did the ideas come.  In just one year – the response has been tremendous as we’ve generated over 2,000 ideas, 10,000 comments, and 40,000 votes.

So why did we have such great success in the first year?  Here are six key factors we think are why… Leer más “PwC iPlace – Six Factors Behind Our Success”

What We Can Learn from Babies: Experimentation, Failure & Creative Genius

The creative process of inventor James Dyson is a startling example. Although Dyson is now one of the wealthiest men in Britain, it took him 15 long years and thousands upon thousands of failed experiments to arrive at his first success. In a Fast Company interview, Dyson explains, “I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So I don’t mind failure. I’ve always thought that schoolchildren should be marked by the number of failures they’ve had. The child who tries strange things and experiences lots of failures to get there is probably more creative.”

As Dyson observes, from an early age, most of our school training encourages us to be risk-averse by rewarding those who deliver exactly what’s expected – rather than those who try something new and dare to look foolish. We are taught to honor rigor and focus over play and experimentation.

Yet, it is these same qualities – playfulness, wonder, and a lack of inhibition – that have fostered the greatest creative breakthroughs. They are also a key ingredient in highly functioning creative teams. Pyschology Today reports that “when teams of people are working together on a problem, those groups that laugh most readily and most often are more creative and productive than their more dour and decorous counterparts.”

Of course, rediscovering the wonder and relentless experimentation of a child is only part of the equation – or, one of the selves we must tap into as creatives. It must be balanced by judicious “adult” decisions about everything from how we focus our energy to what we decide to share with the world.

Essayist and thinker Susan Sontag may have put it best when she described the four selves the artist must inhabit. The first two are clearly connected to an experimental, childlike mindset, while the latter two relate to more adult, executive functions:

“The writer must be four people:

1) the nut, the obsédé: supplies the material

2) the moron: lets it come out

3) the stylist: is taste

4) the critic: is intelligence


by Jocelyn K. Glei

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about babies – and how the child’s ability to explore, experiment, and make mistakes is an essential part of the creative process. When we are at the height of our creative productivity or “flow” state, our brainwaves reflect a deeply meditative, or “theta,” pattern. As babies and pre-adolescent children, this theta state – characterized by the ability to shut out the world and deeply concentrate and connect with a task at hand – is the norm, enabling children to lose hours playing in completely imaginary worlds. Yet, for adults theta brainwaves are more difficult to access, usually coming only in half-waking states as we slip into dreams.

Rumor has it that Thomas Edison (progenitor of the 99% namesake) would sleep just 4-5 hours a night and then power-nap in order to intentionally access the super-creative powers of the theta state. Edison would grasp a ball bearing in his hand, which he draped over the arm of his chair just above a tin pie plate. As he nodded off in his chair, he’d drop the bearing, and the clanging would wake him up just as he drifted off. Then, he would immediately write down whatever was in his mind.
Leer más “What We Can Learn from Babies: Experimentation, Failure & Creative Genius”