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Don’t be the best, be the only one

A couple of weeks ago I asked if corporates really want to innovate like startups. One of the obstacles corporates have towards innovating like startups is overcoming their myopic view of competition: me-too-ism.

Hiring and managing for brilliance

Want game-changing ideas and execution? Hire misfits, weirdos, black sheep, difficult people who don’t fit into traditional roles because they are just brilliant. This isn’t a new idea, but when CEO’s say they want innovation, they don’t walk the talk by themselves; nor does human resources. Corporations aren’t recruiting enough weirdos:

New ideas are necessary, but not sufficient for innovation

It’s not the idea, it’s what you do with it. Design an organization that is both competent at generating and executing effective ideas. For all the research and literature that exists about innovation, ideas still take up the vast majority of the attention as the leading factor behind successful innovations. Because ideas are the sexy [...]

Ed Catmull on how Pixar’s continued success is enabled by it’s culture of candor

A key for unleashing innovation in any type of organization is the willingness to let employees try stuff without feeling that they will be punished if they fail. Creativity is only unleashed when people feel safe that they won’t be judged. Ed Catmull, CEO of Pixar, describes in his talk below why he believes a [...]

First principles thinking: a better way to innovate

“If it’s a sure bet, we’re not interested,” – Jay Schnitzer, former director of Darpa’s Defense Sciences Office Solving problems no one else has encountered, that’s what I like to do. Last year, I was in the beginning stages of developing a new non-existent case study venture with a friend. At one point during the [...]

Are all innovators alike?

Nuances and details are lost in the sea of bullshit that is media and human irrationality, and an outcome is one of the most dangerous things humans do: build people up to more than they probably are. Sure, the world needs heroes that carry a positive narrative that others can latch on to and get [...]

When everything becomes a toaster less is more

Incremental innovation can have transformational effects, but we must also understand the limits of pursuing further efficiencies. Yesterday, I came across a post on Gizmodo about everyday products that were improved to be perfect. Just look at them, I know you’ll want to have a few of them. Though none of them are Apple products, [...]