Innovation Culture
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Innovation Culture



A talk given by David Weekly on 8/18/2008 at Tec de Monterrey's Mexico City campus.

A talk given by David Weekly on 8/18/2008 at Tec de Monterrey's Mexico City campus.



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Innovation Culture Innovation Culture Presentation Transcript

  • Innovation Culture David Weekly, PBwiki Tecnológico de Monterrey August 18, 2008
  • The Mentality of the Successful Entrepreneur
    • Confidence
      • Knowing you will succeed where others failed.
    • Humility
      • Knowing you have more to learn.
    • Energy
      • The stamina to run a long, hard race & inspire.
    • Insight
      • Through training, seeing what others cannot.
    • Curiosity
      • Wanting to know WHY.
  • Ideas are Cheap!
    • Innovation: 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.
      • E=MC^2 doesn’t mean you can make a nuke.
      • Value is execution: EBay, Google, Wikipedia.
    • Don’t hide ideas. Make them valuable.
      • Talking about an idea will help you hone it & make it valuable.
  •  You’re a Failure! 
    • Most of your ideas will be bad.
    • It will take a lot of hard work to find this out.
    • You will feel bad.
    • You will feel stupid.
  •  You.
  •  You’re a Failure! 
    • The key to success in any discipline?
      • Rapid, safe failure
      • Learning how to fall without hurting yourself
      • Learning how to recover from an error
    • You need this in order to train @ 100%!
    • Embracing failure will let you be more aggressive in vetting bad ideas.
      • Which will let you find the good ones.
  • Expectation Management
    • Paint a very humble picture
      • … then try to knock it out of the park!
    • Exceeding low expectations is great
      • Makes you look & feel like a rockstar.
      • Helps people believe in you.
    • So expect the worst, hope for the best.
  • Technology Lets You Fail Fast
    • Vetting technology ideas is faster, cheaper, and easier than ever.
    • CPU, storage, RAM, bandwidth = cheap
      • 8gb quad-core: $1600->$1150 in 9 months!
    • Cloud compute & services = easy
    • Rapid-prototype frameworks (Rails, PHP, Python) = fast
  • Advisers Let You Fail Fast
    • If you need advice, ask for it, from whomever you think is ideal.
    • You don’t need an introduction, just make be clear who you are, what your question is, and why you’re ask them.
    • Make an Advisory Board
    • This is surprisingly effective!
  • Why Does Silicon Valley Work?
    • Value capability over everything
      • versus your parents, GPA, school…
    • Failure-tolerant culture
      • From Gold Rush days
      • Hard work buys you the right to fail.
    • Hippy culture
      • Rapid peer distribution of best practices
      • Lack of formalism in peer connectivity
  • Steal Those Good Ideas!
    • Practice Meritocracy
    • Embrace Failure
    • Connect with Others
      • Facebook, LinkedIn, Hi5, Twitter, your blog
      • Read others’ FriendFeeds, blogs
      • Create meetups to get to know others nearby
  • Guide to this Talk
    • Start an innovative business.
    • Build a culture of innovation.
    • Profit!
  • Tips for Innovative Cultures
    • Work should be fun!
      • Helps retention
      • People work harder!
      • That’s when the best work gets done.
    • Focus on results.
      • Office hours, dress code, working location?
      • Four Hour Work Week & Getting Things Done
      • Encourage vigorous experimentation with internal processes, backed by data.
        • Offsite? (To Thailand?)
        • Does your team work better in cubes or offices?
  • Avoid Mediocrity
    • Bad people are easy to toss out, okay ones are very, very difficult.
    • A-listers hire A, B-listers hire C.
    • Great people attract great people!
      • 100x performance from good coders.
    • Hire people who are smarter than you.
  • Avoid Mediocrity
    • Be comfortable firing people.
    • Set clear performance requirements.
    • Shouldn’t be a surprise.
    • This is good for them.
  • Avoid Mediocrity
    • Learn how to spot Good People
      • Confidence + Humility + Energy + Insight + Curiosity
      • People who do useful things for fun .
    • Stick with them / stay in touch!
      • …even if you can’t hire them right now.
  • Build a Thriving Culture
    • Focus on making users happy.
    • Collect good ideas from everyone
      • A PBwiki is a good way to do this. 
    • Encourage respectful dissent
      • “ Yes” people contribute nothing.
      • @PBwiki you get fired for not disagreeing!
    • Eat your own dogfood!
  • Build a Thriving Culture
    • Can young people have good ideas?
      • Most big ideas were had before 30.
        • Einstein, Galois, Newton, Nash, Brin+Page, Zuck
    • Can women have good technical ideas?
      • Ada Lovelace – first programmer: 1850!
      • Admiral Grace Hopper – invented the first computer programming language .
    • Can regular workers have good ideas?
      • Why are Toyota & Honda killing Ford & GM?
        • People who build cars have ideas about how to do it better!
  • Prove Your Success
    • Record Everything.
    • Learn or hire data warehousing.
    • Be careful about explaining away failure or success – almost everything has a reason.
    • If you don’t know why it went up, it will come down just as predictably.
    • Regularly review metrics
      • Even better: success dashboard
  • Guide to this Talk
    • Found an innovative business.
    • Build a culture of innovation.
    • Profit!
  • Want a job? Want to give me feedback on this talk? [email_address]