The Innovator Theorist: Clayton M. Christensen

In case you haven’t read The Innovator’s Dilemma, here’s a four-minute video version with the key themes:

I am hugely inspired by Clayton M. Christensen’s work – especially around disruptive innovation. His thinking has influenced some of the biggest managers and leaders in modern business by making his idea frameworks applicable for all sectors. He teaches you how to think, not what to think. I also love the fact that Clayton focuses on innovation rather than entrepreneurship. The start-up culture currently dominates the media press and the market growth theories; however, large organisations that pursue ‘disruptive innovation’ alongside ‘sustaining innovations’ should also be praised and examined.

Plus, here’s one of his TED talks based on his book, How Will You Measure Your Life? 

Plus, I encourage you to check out his website. 

Chess, Courage, and Business.

The Unthinkable… and the Mundane. An article in Fast Company on business + Innovation. It’s DEFINITELY worth a read – takes just about 7.2398 minutes!

 But then the board became messy and complicated, and suddenly it was too late. I realised that I was losing because I didn’t have the daring to make a rudimentary move.

This is the beautiful tension that defines chess — that distinguishes between the unthinkable and the mundane. 

And for all my talk of boldness and daring, great chess players cannot lose sight of the mundane details. In business, you might call this blocking and tackling — the everyday operations that, if left untended, will undermine your organisation.

Written by: Garry Kasparov (#1 ranked chess player in the world)

The Lean Start-up

So I recently read The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.

the-lean-startup_50291668aa9bb

To caveat the ‘fail faster, learn faster’ mentality though – individuals should only start companies if they truly believe these businesses can create value for consumers and profitability for investors. Although there is a lot of seed money and angel investors at the moment looking to take advantage of the thriving start-up scene and promise of ‘unicorns’, I would remind people that most new businesses still fail or grow to a marginal level – therefore not returning on the initial investment.  ‘Doing A Start-up’ seems to have become an ambition or goal with the same emphasis and occurrence as ‘running a marathon’ or ‘living/studying in a foreign country’. However, owning your own business is not a tick-box off necessary millennial life experiences. It’s a lifestyle, career choice, and full commitment. So yes, Build, Measure, and Learn faster. But also be persistent, committed, and faithful to your start-up. If you plan on giving up easily, it wasn’t a business worth starting in the first place.

Eric also has a blog: http://www.startuplessonslearned.com 

 

Everything was Mobile. Now, Everything is Start-ups.

One of my first public industry talks – so please be nice! It was extremely nerve-wrecking, but it was exciting at the same time. I love public speaking and hope to continue improving this skill….

The overall session was about mobile, but I chose to compare the rate of adoption for mobile to the rate of adoption for start-ups in B2B environment. The overarching umbrella was around ‘innovation’ and the tipping point at which it diffuses into the masses. (and how brands + agencies approach working in mobile and with start-ups because of those laws of diffusion).

Feedback always welcome.

 

Open Innovation + Digital Catapult

I recently met some people form Digital Catapult UK. I was blown away by their core value of ‘open innovation’. The ‘openness’ comes comes with inherent risks and benefits that both sides must understand, but it is designed to encourage ‘serendipitous innovation’. In a world of patents and trademarks, they believe: “You can benefit from ideas that you do not own.”

He had a beautiful quote that I think describes what innovation teams within large organisations should do:

“We are here to start movements that will grow on their own. We are here to create self-sustained ripples.”

ABOUT Digital Catapult: a not-for-profit organization with a trading division. They have been tasked with a target of growing the British Economy. They started from scratch 18 months ago and are primarily funded by Government, but their goal is to have a third of their income come from the industry to balance out their dependency on any one body.

  • Industry needs to “bring challenges to them”
  • Connected to 2,500 innovators (new name for start-ups and entrepreneurs)
  • Digital Catapult run about 1-event per day and their target is innovators
  • They can also doo proof of concept/product prototyping
  • They are located in the R&D quarter (King’s Cross)

Their Innovation Focus is on how companies get value from their data (including secondary/tertiary value from data) in these four areas: 

  1. Personal data (Banking, browsing)
  2. Closed corporate data (banks, new value)
  3. Licensed data (Creative content, IP)
  4. Machine generated data (IOT)

You should check them out and their work in the UK innovation space!

AdTech Meet-up London #mobile #startups

Most people probably hide embarrassing interviews – but I’ll post mine publicly and learn from it instead.

In the words of my boss – ‘this is classic VIOLETA with over-enthusaism’. **Also – wanted to clarify that I had not drank the ‘free wine’ discussed in the video before filming this. It really was just me being too nervous and excited in from of a camera. 

Look out for the actual talk on my blog soon!

Also – definitely hating the whole paper business card situation. It’s so inefficient and they end up sitting on my desk for weeks until I finally throw them away. I’ve met multiple start-ups trying to solve this problem (with mobile phones – obviously), so hopefully one of them reaches the early majority soon.  #nomorepaper

GOV.UK has some good Design Principles.

Government Digital Service in the UK outlines their design principles – which I think are applicable beyond their remit.

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. This is for everyone
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

**Side note: I am increasingly loving the word design in a business model/consumer-focused context. 

BEST NINE-YEAR OLD IDEA.

When I was nine years old, I had the best idea of how to efficiently find ones car after constantly getting lost in large parking lots with my parents. Growing up in Southern California meant that this happened on a weekly basis and the “searching-by-pressing-the-button” method just wasn’t working. So I thought that every car should have a personalised balloon that is inflated out of the antenna using your remote key. (Each balloon would be a special colour and have the license plate number). Since the balloon will float up, it allowed you to visually locate your car rather than listening for the beep. After you arrive to your car, you pop the balloon and simply reset the antenna for the next time. My younger else was convinced in this innovative approach; so nine-year-old me wrote to Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Dodge.  It was an informative letter with my idea, some hand drawn diagrams and a personal signature. My parents helped me find the company’s addresses and mail off the letters. To my delight, three companies wrote back saying that they loved my concept, but were not allowed to take ideas from outside sources. However, I did receive a handwritten message, a Honda Keychain, a Nissan mug, and a little bit of inspiration. Nowadays, I understand the impracticality of the idea, but I still believe that the curiosity, initiative, and modernisation behind the balloon-from-antenna made it the best idea ever.