Tag Archives: Innovation

Tony Fadell: Stay a beginner to drive change

Tony Fadell NestWhat’s the most powerful technique available to innovators? Observation.

Tony Fadell, the creator of the iPod and Nest thermostat, shared his mantra for innovation at a recent TED conference:

“It’s seeing the invisible problem, not just the obvious problem, that’s important,” Fadell said onstage. “There are invisible problems all around us. First we need to see them. To feel them. Then we can solve them.”

To create a successful business, you sometimes have to break rules. But which ones?

Which rules should we break, but won’t bring our business down if we do? This is a question that not too many businesses ask themselves but should. The simplest answer is to kill some stupid rules, the ones that no one has questioned because “that’s just the way we do things here”; break those and you’ll spark some innovative ideas.

Remember to be bold

What’s the boldest thing you’ve done in the last month? How about last week? I’m assuming your answer is “I don’t know what you mean by bold”.

You are not alone.

We live in a world where it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize others for trying brave and untried that probably won’t achieve their desired result. This is what most analysts do, and it’s also what most business leaders do; they’re not bold.

The new leadership challenge: create a context in which others can innovate

the number one limiting belief of leadersConventional leadership won’t get you innovation. How so?

A myth that is commonly associated with innovators like Steve Jobs is that their respective companies achieved extraordinary success because of them. Wrong. Steve Jobs didn’t do everything himself, he’s even said so publicly that “ideas trump hierarchy” at Apple.

One trait that determines success of your entrepreneurial ecosystem

pay it forwardThough most everyone agrees on what the basic components of an entrepreneurial ecosystem are, it is a myth that simply having those components will result in game-changing innovation.

For example, think about Silicon Valley, the use case for all innovation ecosystems; why and how does it sustain innovation? Sure, culture is one component. But, what distinct behaviors drive that? I believe the most important one is a “paying it forward” attitude.

Timing: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

Why do startups like AirBnB, Uber, Space X succeed while other fail? Is it the team? Funding? Timing? Idea? Business model?

You, and most people, will think it’s all about the idea, the team and execution. It’s neither. According to serial entrepreneur Bill Gross, it’s all about timing.