akpsi ohio university speaker series: innovate your way to the top

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April 14, 2012 Ohio University

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Presentation I gave to Ohio University business students on "Innovate your way to the top".

TRANSCRIPT

Innovate your career

April 14, 2012Ohio University1

Hi, Im Josh Premuda. Thanks for having me.

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Im Ohio brewed and world inspired.

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PreviouslyA quick bit on my background

Im a 2001 graduate of Ohio University with degrees in MIS and Marketing.

I became an IT Auditor right out of college. Worked in that field for almost nine years. During that time I moonlighted as a consultant to various small business on marketing on the web. In 2009, I left my career as an auditor and have been consulting as a digital strategist ever since.

Ive moved around a lot, worked at different companies and in different industries. Ive worked for big companies, had small business clients and started my own business. But all the while Ive kept one goal in mind4

And that is to be someone who makes new things and thinks about them.

Its been my interest and where Ive researched for years now.5INNOVATION(and how I think it happens)So, enough about me, I was asked to be here today to speak about innovation and how you can get to the top.

I consider myself the opening act here the bios of the speakers after me are far more interesting and impressive.

What I hope to share with you is my method with examples of how I think innovation happens.6Disclaimer

Operating Theory

My Recipe

Questions

The quick agenda

(warning: I have no idea how long this talk will take)

There will probably be talk of Aziz Ansari, Bubba Watson and beer. 7

DISCLAIMERAs I said, Im the opening act and I havent timed this talk. And, its full of random thoughts somewhat pieced together.

Theres a lot of examples and quotes here that I hope demonstrate my points. Truthfully, innovation is a hard topic to discuss.

If this talk is a bit scattered, its because I struggled to come up with a topic. I dont consider myself an innovator, but as I started spitballing topics I started thinking about my areas of research, what Ive done to get where Im at and techniques I think work for adding innovation to a career.

8creativity+innovationI consider creativity and innovation to be closely linked. So, from time-to-time, I may blur the lines of the two definitions. My apologies if this is confusing.

Generically, innovation is connecting the dots.

Steve Jobs has a great line on creativity that really hammers home my thoughts on innovation:

When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didnt really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. Thats because they were able to connect experiences theyve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that theyve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

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The other thing I want to emphasize is that people innovate. Its not the proces or the tech that innovates. Its you, its me, its someone. We innovate process and technology.10CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLESo now, my formula. You have to care about what youre doing, think hard about it, craft the process/tech, tinker with it, then hustle to implement and share it. 11CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLEFirst, care

There is a great essay by Merlin Mann where he emphasizes this point. Ill sum it up as best I can: think about a time when you really cared about something you worked on. If you think back to those times, youll remember yourself caring about detail and asking questions different than any other time you were working.

http://www.43folders.com/2010/02/05/first-careThink about those times when you really disappeared into challenging work. You had to tear yourself away, right?Because, during those happy times you were fortunate enough to find yourself engaged with something that you cared intensely about, you probably started asking a really different sort of question.

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Creativity and innovation come not from the ideas of our mind alone, but also from some conviction in our heart I love this quote by Einstein.

Creativity and innovation come not from the ideas of our mind alone, but also from some conviction in our heart an orientation of spirit. At TED 2012,Bryan StevensonechoesEinstein, Steve Jobs, and Anne Lamott on intuition and rationality.

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Find InspirationI recognize that its not easy to care about everything, so what can you do to increase your caring?

Find inspiration

Get on tumblr or pinterest. Find subjects youre interested in and figure out why youre always buying pants from a certain company or why you keep looking at the same pictures over and over. Apply them to your field.

SOCKS + SNOWBOARDSTEDx, Snowboarding, NPR, Golf, socks

14CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLEBe deliberate, do things with style, strategy

Practice wrong thinking. Great inventors engage in divergent or "wrong" thinking, which allows them to explore the full realm of possibilities for a solution - no matter how silly or far-fetched. They're not necessarily concerned with the most logical solution, and certainly not with one that draws on "conventional wisdom.

http://the99percent.com/articles/7158/What-It-Takes-To-Innovate-Wrong-Thinking-Tinkering-Intuiting?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+The99Percent+%28The+99+Percent%29&utm_content=Google+Reader15Startups dont compete with airlines by purchasing a bunch of planes, hiring a bunch of pilots and locking up a bunch of terminals at airports. Startups compete with airlines by inventing videoconferencing.Startups dont compete with airlines by purchasing a bunch of planes, hiring a bunch of pilots and locking up a bunch of terminals at airports. Startup compete with airlines by inventing videoconferencing.

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STUDYSpend time studying the industry, process, or whatever it is youre working to innovate. If you dont read, watch and listen to as much as you can, youll miss something important.17

PAUSEYou cant think if you dont take the time to do so. So pause and think.

bliss station http://books.google.com/books?id=jQQdk6YszYIC&pg=PA115&dq=%22bliss+station%22+campbell&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KuFkT7ewL6vMsQKKtcS3Dw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22bliss%20station%22%20campbell&f=false

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you dont know what was in the newspapers that morning, you dont know who your friends are, you dont know what you owe anybody, you dont know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

Notebooks/PensThink in the car/airports

Obama spends 45 minutes thinking alone each day. If he can find time, you can too.18

Innovation is not adding another blade

"Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a back scratcher, and ten blades? Your handsome-ass grandfather had one blade... and polio."

What part of this don't you understand? If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best fucking razor that ever existed. Comprende? We didn't claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all. http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades,11056/ 19CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLEThis is where you define things. You begin to source materials, develop your message, map out the process and find the tools to execute. And, most of all you start to build.

Personal brand, materials, execution, build, quality, tools, utility, message20Build things. Ideas are wonderful, but being able to prototype something and see it in front of you is better. Use whatever tools you have. You need to make it real before you can discover what it is supposed to be.Build things. Ideas are wonderful, but being able to prototype something and see it in front of you is better. Use whatever tools you have. You need to make it real before you can discover what it is supposed to be.

http://www.openforum.com/articles/flipboards-evan-doll-on-creating-a-standout-smartphone-app?extlink=sm-openf-socialteam-tumblr flipboard founder21

Im glad that this is an environment where you feel free to failDont be scared. Failure can be good. You have to try it. Do as best you can to treat the environment youre in as a sandbox and playground. Treat failures as experiments. Dont fret them, learn from them.

Im glad that this is an environment where you feel free to fail

Don Draper quotes: http://flavorwire.com/267713/40-of-don-drapers-best-lines?all=1

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BUBBA GOLFBubba Watson plays golf his own way. He hits it as hard as he can and rarely in a straight line, but hes spent years crafting his game to be a professional. My point here is do it your way, learn what works and what doesnt. FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WANT TO IT TO WORK.23CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLEGet your hands dirty, play, try, fail24Creativity comes from lots of disconnected little half-ideas that need to bounce off other seemingly disconnected ideas(They) need each other if theyre going to give birth to the next generation of great ideas.Creativity comes from lots of disconnected little half-ideas that need to bounce off other seemingly disconnected ideas(They) need each other if theyre going to give birth to the next generation of great ideas.

Steve Johnson TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from.html

Practice changingConstantly buildPlaysimplify25

SLOW HUNCHAziz Ansari and Chris Rock uses to develop new routines to illustrate the little bets approach.

When beginning to work on a new show, Rock picks venues where he can experiment with new material in very rough fashion. In gearing up for his latest global tour, he made between forty and fifty appearances at a small comedy club, called Stress Factory, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, not far from where he lives. In front of audiences of, say, fifty people, he will show up unannounced, carrying a yellow legal note pad with ideas scribbled on itIn sets that run forty-five minutes, most of the jokes will fall flatFor a full routine, Rock tries hundreds (if not thousands) of preliminary ideas, out of which only a handful will make the final cutBy the time Rock reaches a big show say an HBO special or an appearance on David Lettermanhis jokes, opening, transitions, and closing have all been tested and retested rigorously.

Chris Rock uses an iterative trial-and-error process to gradually build up a blockbuster comedy routine. Rock does a show at a small comedy club to test his ideas. Armed with the insight he gains from the first show, he refines the jokes that worked and discards the ones that fell flat. He repeats the process of refining and testing until he has perfected his act. http://www.4rmg.com/what-do-chris-rock-and-adrian-peterson-have-in-common

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704570704576274962717655144.html

Slowhunch.com is a new, open source web app and "innovation community" inspired by Steven Johnson's new book entitled, Where Good Ideas Come From . If you haven't already watched his masterful presentation at TED

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If we didnt have people tinkering and trying new things, Id have never found a beer with donuts and bacon in it.27CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLEIdeas are free, execution is what costs.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2012/03/28/moving-from-idea-to-action-how-to-keep-an-innovation-from-getting-stuck/?feed=rss_home

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REMINDER29

You have to do what you can to make your widget work. If youve developed a product, you may have to eat ramen noodles at every meal to keep the servers running. 30

pre-Foursquare has been rather successful in adoption of users. Its raised a bunch of money, found revenue streams and hired many employees. Its a success story, but if you look at everything before that March 2009 launch, youll see how much work and effort founder Dennis Crowley has put into it. In reality it goes back to 1999 when he was in college. Through hustle and work hes gotten it to the masses.

Tristan Walker, VP of Sales: http://justtristan.com/post/7696394458/two-years-ago-today

http://www.quora.com/Dennis-Crowley-What-are-your-top-5-pieces-of-advice-for-entrepreneurs/answer/Dennis-Crowley-1

31CARETHINKCRAFTTINKERHUSTLETheres my formula. You have to care about what youre doing, think hard about it, craft the process/tech, tinker with it, then hustle to implement and share it.

[email protected]

Thanks for having me. I keep a full log of all the articles, pictures and whatnot that I referenced here on my website. You can email me with questions or whatever. Hopefully you learned something today. Im around the rest of the day. If youre interested in the slides, as well as quotes and articles I referenced today, heres a link.

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