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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 071 Braden Kelly


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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show

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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 071 Braden Kelly

  1. 1. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 1 of 23 EPISODE #71: BRADEN KELLEY In this episode, Travis interviews Braden Kelley. Braden is a successful entrepreneur and founder of the fastest growing innovation portal as well as a trusted consultant and speaker when it comes to innovation and marketing strategies. His expertise in the field of innovation and marketing has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs improve their business and take it to the next level. Travis and Braden shares their knowledge and know-how in using innovation to refine and improve your business. They pointed out how entrepreneurs should create goals for innovation and define what innovation is to them. This would help entrepreneurs in successfully create ways of innovating their products and be more competitive in today’s cut-throat market. Braden also gave 3 components in achieving innovation success and these are value creation, value access, and value translation which they thoroughly defined and explained. These are just some of insights that Braden and Travis shared on the value of innovation that entrepreneurs should take into account in their business today. Braden Kelley- using innovation to grow your business Travis: Hey it's Travis Lane Jenkins, welcome to episode number 71 of the Entrepreneur's Radio Show. A production of Rockstar Entrepreneur Network, conversations with self-made millionaires and high level entrepreneurs that grow your business. Today I've got an interesting show for you that focuses on something from a completely different angle. We focus on innovation. It’s something that I believe far too many businesses under utilize in growing their business. Our guest today is Braden Kelly. Braden is the founder of Blogging Innovation, the fastest growing innovation portal on the web, 59% year over year growth, that's pretty impressive. And also the Foundation for Innovation Excellence. Braden has, is also the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, and he is a contributing author to A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing. Now before we get started I want to remind you to stay with us until the very end if you can because I've got a question for you. And also I like to share a little inspiration with you as an entrepreneur. Also I have a challenge for you, so be sure and stay with us until the very end if you can. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get down to business. Without further ado, welcome to the show Braden. Braden: Thank you Travis.
  2. 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 2 of 23 Travis: How are you my man? Braden: I am good; it's a beautiful day here in the Seattle area. Travis: I'm jealous, I love Seattle. Hey listen, I don't know if you've listened to the show or you understand the format. One of the things I like to do is I like to get kind of the background story and get a feel of where you come from and how you discovered what you teach. Because the whole reason of the show is I believe success is not presented in its truest light and a lot of people portray their success in a way that seems like they're smarter and more perfect than everybody, when really success is kind of a flawed journey, right. Braden: Uhm hmm Travis: You know, it's not perfect or there's a very few of us that get it right just the first time. There are rare occasions, but you know, it's a journey to get there. So what's the back-story, how did you find success and what brought you to today? Braden: Well, I think it's exactly like you said, it's you know, success is kind of a meandering journey and one that I'm in the middle of, or, you know, I would always look at it as I'm in the middle of it, where other people might think that I'm farther along or at the end. I always believe that I'm towards the beginning or in the middle. And I feel that it is kind of a meandering journey and that really, you know, when you look at it we're all born successful in our journey during our life is to really unlock that success. And to find out where we fit best, what our true purpose is in life and unfortunately the way that our educational system is set-up and in the way that our society has set-up, it's not really set-up to support that journey. It's set-up to look at it at children as empty vessels to be filled up with what they want to fill them up with. Travis: Right. Braden: And not necessarily helping them unlock with their true purpose is and helping them be successful. Travis: Yeah, I agree with you. It's don't be creative, get in line and do as you're told, which is really kind of the exact opposite of what an entrepreneur does, right. Braden: Right. And the biggest problem with our educational system now is that there's too much of a focus on the right answer, there's too much focus on trying to increase stem education and things like that and too little focus on educating students for the 21st century. And if we look at what skills are going to be required for success in the 21st century, the countries that are staying at the top of the
  3. 3. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 3 of 23 pyramid or move from the bottom to the middle, or if they're at the top they'll slow down to middle like the US is doing now. Travis: Right. Braden: It's the countries that recognize that innovation is the key to sustained success. And as a result, educate their employees and their children to have skills in entrepreneurship, to have skills in successful collaboration, and to have skills in how to invent and how to create, instead of stamping out that creativity during the educational process. And so, my success journey has really been trying to figure out what doesn't resonate with me and what I won't be successful at. And finding those elements as I go through life of things that do resonate for me and then try to focus more effort on that. And so, I came from, not a poor family but, you know, a humble beginnings family, my father was a carpenter. And so there was no money for me to go to university when I graduated from high school. So I went into the military, I joined the US Navy, and spent a couple of years on active duty in the US Navy. Had the opportunity to travel the world a bit in the western pacific. And that enabled me to then pay for university, the University of Oregon. Go ducks. And there I studied business which is something that I had always felt that I wanted to study, and did my military service before the university rather than after so that I would have that option. And that the government wouldn't tell me what to study based on their needs through ROTC or something like that. And then after school I graduated during one of the recessions of the early 90's and there weren't a lot of opportunities available. That's why I ended up in the technology industry, taking phone calls and helping people through solve their technology problems. Which wasn't where I imagined by any stretch of the imagination that I would be after I graduated. Travis: Right. Braden: But, you know, landed a job at Semantic, one of the larger software companies in the world and had the opportunity to learn a lot along the way and throughout that journey, kept recognizing opportunities as they presented themself and course correcting my journey as I went along towards what I thought would make me successful. Did really well, ended up in Silicon Valley. Again, on the technology industry but more so, at by that point, helping people use technology to solve business problems. And it was during that part of the journey that what I recognize was the part of my job that I really enjoy was helping people solve business problems. And the company that I was working for at that time, which was Computer Associates, was taking me towards artificial intelligence, towards rules- based programming, wanted me to learn C++ and Java, and I just, you know, "Hold on, wait, time out, that's not the direction that I want to go. And so I took a time out, went off to England to do my MBA at London Business School, to refocus my career in a more commercial direction. And take what I had learned at that point, which is enjoy helping people solve their business problems and try to build upon
  4. 4. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 4 of 23 that and work towards using that towards achieving success. And it's been about time and then after I graduated that's when I became an entrepreneur and that's when I started doing independent consulting, and writing, and speaking around the topics of innovation, marketing, strategy, and helping organizations achieve success in those areas. And as you can imagine, listening through that sort of journey it didn't come easy and there's a lot more detail that I could talk about but it has been a journey. And for me one of the biggest things was recognizing opportunity when it presented itself because there's lots of little forks on the road if you look for them. And then ultimately capitalize on them. Travis: You know, tons of it. Well you know I'm curious. So what part of technology plays a role within the business strategy that you do now? On a higher level. Braden: Yeah, well I think it's the internet. You know for me in the types of work that I do now, a lot of it's around helping organizations, you know, instill or reinforce a culture of success and our networks, and our-- The internet helped to really facilitate communication and collaboration, and all of these things. And then on the marketing side there's a lot more ways now to reach people via online and mobile, and social that the internet and our networks really empower and make possible. And so I'm constantly striving to understand how clients understand how to take advantage of these networks and their capabilities as they grow. Travis: Yeah, well, for me now I've been in business since the early 90's and the drastic change in the way we do things versus today is just, you know, night and day. The majority of it is just facilitated or has been facilitated through the internet. And the innovation that you talk about I believe is coming from the, what's referred to as flattening of the world, right, where there's less and less borders between countries and the way do things. Do you feel like that's the leading edge of what's causing or helping expedite innovation? Does that make sense? Maybe phrasing that wrong but it's just, you know, I've-- So 22 years in business, I used one of the first mobile phones in my business where my monthly mobile bill was $2,000 a month just for one phone, you know. And then I graduated alphanumeric pagers in conjunction with mobile phones. And now the technology and all the things that I can do and the efficiencies that I have versus back then are just unbelievable. And a lot of that change and innovation is spurring a whole new level of innovation. Do you agree with that? And is it that kind of the path that you're going down also? Braden: I do agree with that. If you look at what our networks make possible versus what was possible before, I mean now we have the ability to access just about any piece of information that we want at any point in time that we want. You don't have to wait to go look something up. People in the palm of their hand have the ability to answer just about any question that might come up or at least point them in the right direction towards future research when they get home so to speak. And the consumer and
  5. 5. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 5 of 23 the individual is being empowered in ways that just weren't possible before, it truly is possible for people to make money with what they know wherever they are in the world now. I mean if you look at things like CrowdSpring, or 99 designs, or-- Even Amazon Mechanical Turk, or something like that, you know, people wherever they are in the world can make a living based on what they know. And if you look at also, in the innovation side. Interesting little known fact is that consumerism in the UK spend more money on innovating than the consumer companies do. And kind of the things that make that possible are things like, you know, Quirky, or Indiegogo, and Kickstarter, and places where they can raise money. And things like 3D printing that people can use now to make an expensive prototypes. Travis: Hey Braden, I'm picking up a lot of, and I don't mean to interrupt you, I'm picking up a lot of background noise, there's something that-- Is that on your side? Braden: I'm not hearing it, do you still hear it? Travis: No, no it stopped. Whatever it is I didn't wanted to take away from your message of what you're saying. Your speakers, our equipment on this side is really sensitive and so I want to take away from the message there. And so you were saying in the UK, they spend more money on innovation than the companies do? Braden: Yes, in the UK the consumer spend more money on innovation than the consumer companies do. And really what makes that possible, you know, new tools that are internet enabled like Corky, like Kickstarter, like Corky for submitting ideas that can be turned into products. Things like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that can be used for raising money to fund somebody's realization of an invention, and ultimately, hopefully an innovation. Things like 3D printing that enable people to make prototypes that are low cost that they wouldn't have able to make before at such a low cost. Also then you've got things like Alibaba, these networks of suppliers and manufacturers that enable somebody with an idea that has a prototype that can show somebody how to make something. You know now, consumers can connect directly with manufacturers to produce things at scale and get their idea off the ground. So it's becoming easier and easier for people all around the world to go from idea to reality at scale, both faster and cheaper. And that poses both problems and opportunity for large companies. Travis: Right. And what I have found is a lot of people don't know about what you're talking about. A lot of people don't know about Mechanical Turk. If you took, well, let me qualify at that statement, if you took internet marketers, experience internet marketers out of that group. A lot of brick and mortar and service-based business people and just average John Q. Public really don't know anything about Alibaba as sourcing or Mechanical Turk, or any of that stuff that you're talking about. Are you aware of that?
  6. 6. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 6 of 23 Braden: You know, sometimes it's easy to forget. For me, given what I talk about in the space that I play, it's sometimes easy to forget that because most of the people that I talk to are in marketing or innovation. Travis: Right. Braden: And so it's easy to forget that, that people don't necessarily understand all of the great tools that are available out there to help them get their business off the ground or to help them get a new product or service off the ground. Travis: Yeah, exactly. Braden: The global economy. But we do really live in a world now where it's no longer that just because you have an idea mean, it used to be that you had an idea that you have to figure out how to do the whole thing by yourself. And that's no longer true, you can start with an idea and now much more quickly and cheaply get a prototype made with the 3D printer which you don't have to buy the 3D printer, there's lots of services out there that will help you make a prototype, or help you create something with the 3D printer. But even 3D printers are dropping into the $1,000, $2,000 range so it's less than what people used to pay for a laser printer. Travis: Yeah, exactly. There was a time when say if I wanted to produce something from a 3D printer, say my business was. I conceive something and I would have to buy that printer assuming that the 3D printer existed back then which it didn't, but-- Braden: Right. Travis: The point is, is that the hybrid business models now is there's sites to where you can upload your design and do a revenue share with them. I know a guy, I'll give you an example. A guy was into racing his son's Go-kart, and there was a nose that broke off on the tip of the Go-carts, you know, it's kind of an expensive hobby. And no one could find replacement parts to that nose on the Go-kart. And so he designed one and uploaded it, and then would reach out to the networks of everybody that he knew, the race those Go-karts and said, "Hey, you can order a new nose piece here. I designed it and I did a revenue share with this company and they own the 3D printer,” right? Braden: Uhm hmm Travis: And so what they do is they place and order, he would get half the revenue, and they would print that nose and send it to the person that bought it. And I think that's a good illustration of what you're talking about, right.
  7. 7. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 7 of 23 Braden: Yes, I think that we live in an era, and it takes a little while for people to change the way that they think, but we live in an era where just about anything that you think you might have to do yourself, there's a good chance that there's somebody who set up a business to help facilitate that service. So there's people that have set-up businesses to provide prototyping services. There are people that have the 3D printer that will, you know, much like Kinko's does, or maybe Kinko's will have them soon if they don't already, that will, you know, for a small fee, print-out whatever it is that you want to print-out on a 3D printer. And so, you know, people have to stop thinking that they have to do everything themselves and instead if they want to get something to market that they think has a lot of potential. You know, just kind of go on the assumption that there's probably somebody somewhere that with right agreement or arrangement could help me get the next step done. And you know, really, ideas are a dime a dozen, ideas are worthless without an insight that grounds them, but then also without the execution. So if you truly are an innovator, you're going to run through walls to realize the great idea back to me, unique and differentiate the customer insight that you have. And that means looking at creative ways to move to the next step. Travis: Right, right. Braden: And those people that can help you to do that. Travis: Yeah, I agree with you. And so there's several different connotations of that. So to continue that example, many years ago if the 3D printer existed and you were in that business model you'd have to go out and buy all of the equipment for that. And now you just outsource it. You can also do that with people. Braden: Yes. Travis: You know. There was a time when if you needed 4 people to run your office, you needed to put them on your staff and payroll full-time, right. Because everybody wants a full time job. Well now you can just outsource, you can have certain people do certain task and they get paid on performance rather than coming and placing their rear in the chair for 8 hours, right. Braden: Right. Travis: It's just another form of innovation to your problem. Braden: Yes, and there's some very interesting things going on around the design of work and I wrote about crowd computing, you know, we talk about cloud computing, and we talk about crowd sourcing. But there's a new and emerging concept called crowd computing where it sort of reimagining who and what does the work. So we're living in a time where now both humans and the machines can work
  8. 8. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 8 of 23 together to get work done. So if you imagine something like invoice processing, you know there's certain components of getting paper invoices in and digitizing them that people have to do. Like a person has to receive that and note that it's been received and then it's in the right format or whatever. Or if not, initiate it being translated into a pdf or whatever. Travis: Right. Braden: But once it's been turned into a pdf and optical character recognition software starts to churn through it. Here's the machine doing some work to identify what the invoice number is, who the company is, and some of these things, and popping those into fields in a database. There's work that humans and computers can do together. So potentially-- In the beginning you may not have very high expectations for what the computer can do like recognizing whether the invoice number is high or not. The invoice number is correct or not that they correctly grab the invoice number out of the pdf and put it in the invoice number field. And so you might have a human go behind and validate whether or not that was successful. But we live in an era now where the human doesn't have to be an employee, that a human could be on a crowd platform that you have sitting in that process. Something like Amazon Mechanical Turk or one of the others, where that person just that little teeny micro task of checking to see whether it correctly grabbed the invoice number. Travis: Right. Braden : And then, so we almost have to reimagine work as a collection of either projects or jobs that can be broken down into tasks and microtasks. And once you get down to that microtask level then you can start thinking about whether or not microtask can be done by artificially intelligent machine or whether that microtask could be done by a person using a crowd platform, or whether you want to have that microtask performed by a contractor, or whether you want to have that microtask performed by an employee. It used to be like you said, that you hired for people and put them in office and they did the whole thing. But that's not necessarily the most efficient way anymore, now you can have humans and machines working together to get things done. Travis: Yeah, I think even the single largest, and I'm probably going to state this improperly. The single largest program is Apache, right, and that was crowd created wasn't it? Braden: I don't know about whether it's the largest, but yes, it's an open source business offer. Travis: Yeah, it's an open source and that drives a lot of the things that we interact with. I think even Facebook is built on Apache, right? Braden: I'm not sure, but for the audience, they don't know what Apache is. Apache is a web server and a lot of even commercial software that has a web server component uses Apache as a web server.
  9. 9. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 9 of 23 Travis: And it's built from a crowd standpoint, you know. It's a group of people that don't know each other and they go in there, and its open source, and they collectively evolved this thing. A lot like Wikipedia, right. Braden: Right. Travis: So now, one of the things, I know that you have one of the fastest growing innovation blogs, is that a proper word for it? Innovation blog? Braden: Well we like to call it a website, it does have a blog component but we also do a lot of other things like webinars and we have a directory of service providers, and other tools on the website as well. Travis: Well, one of the things that was interesting here is you've got a consistent 59% year over year growth, that's pretty impressive. Braden: Well, thank you. Yeah, continues to grow and we have almost 6,000 articles on the site. Now on the business aspects of innovation. And we have over 300 contributing authors from all around the world. And we get visitors from over 170 countries every month. Travis: And so you're using that same strategy that we're talking about to develop this and grow your business? Braden: Yes. So innovation excellence is one of the things that I do, and on the site our strategy really is to not assume that we know the best answers to everything but to bring in the best voices that we can onto the site wherever they may live in the world. And really try to build a platform for the innovation community or for people that are innovation enthusiast or just interested in innovation. And so we do have the blog and then we are also introducing things like research for people that want to go into a little more depth into different innovation, or crowd sourcing, or co-creation topics. And then we're about ready to launch a certification program that people can become certified in their innovation knowledge. And then we'll be moving into other areas. And so we truly view it as a platform, the site itself. And we are looking to plug in different services on top of that platform and create win-wins with people. So we're working with Doc Williams to create our research offer. We don't necessarily have to own everything so we create collaborative partnerships with people to create win-wins and building up the platform with these different offerings rather than having to have everybody's and employee, and control the whole thing, we're trying to use some of these more crowd sourced or collaborative commerce thinking.
  10. 10. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 10 of 23 Travis: Right. So take me down a path-- The majority of our listeners are existing business owners. How can a business owner use innovation to refine and grow their business in a way that is meaningful to them? Braden: Well I think that the first thing that they have to do is sit down and think about what their goals are for innovation and what innovation means to them. And so that means really setting a vision strategy and goals for innovation, and even a definition for innovation to serve as the basis for a common language of innovation to use within their organization. So that everybody in the organization is talking about the same thing when they say innovation. And so I have my definition of innovation that I use and that's innovation transforms the useful seeds of invention into widely adapted solutions valued about every existing alternative. And there's lots of words in that definition and there's lots of key distinction. One is the distinction between invention and innovation, they're not the same thing. Another is the distinction between useful and valuable. If you get too focused on something that's useful and investing in something that's useful you'll end up bankrupt. So you want to focus on investing your money in something that's valuable, that people are going to be willing to spend more for than it cost you to make or deliver. And then value is central in my definition and when I talk about innovation I talk about 3 main components to innovation. And their 3 main components that I think everybody should think about is they embark on their innovation journey if they want to achieve innovation success. And those 3 components are value creation, value access, and value translation. Now value creation is probably the most self-explanatory of the 3. Value creation is really all about creating value, so it's really about making something more efficient or more effective, making something possible that was impossible before, or even adding emotional benefits or psychological benefits for the customer or the consumer that weren't there before. And so that's the easiest one to explain. Value translation, the last one, I'll skip to that one, is really all about helping people understand how this new thing is going to fit in to their lives, and so if you look back to the launch of the iPad when the iPad was first announced. To be honest it got panned in the press, it got killed, people called it iLame, people said it was a giant iPhone. And a lot of the reason behind that was Apple did a terrible job of value translation when they announce the product. And they launched it with our most advanced technology and a transformational device, or some gobbledygook techno babble that nobody really understood. And people looked at it and thought, "Yeah, it does look like a giant iPhone". Travis: Right. Braden: But then, 3 months later when they started shipping the product is when the out of home advertisement started appearing with somebody leaning back from the coach with an iPad on their lap. And then it started to be a little bit more clear about what the used case was for this new device and how it really started to fit in people's lives. And then another key component was the value access component which obviously by this time Apple has a whole cadre of retail stores spread across the
  11. 11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 11 of 23 world where people can go in and actually experience of the device and have knowledgeable people that can help them really understand how this kind of device could fit in to their lives. And they've got this whole Appstore built up already so there is a lot of additional pieces of value that people can add on to the device. And then Apple spends a lot of time and money on things like packaging and other things to tell people quickly and easily, start extracting value from the devices that they create and the value that that they create. Travis: And that all relates to value translation. Braden: The last part where I started talking about the Apple Stores and things like that is really about value access which is, you can almost kind of think of as friction reduction, you know. How do you get people from the value it created to actually extracting the value from it. So value translation is how you help people understand how something fits into their lives, value access is how you help people really unlock the value from that. And that can be things like design, things like packaging. Things like your channels of distribution. Getting the right products and services into the right places where people want to consume them. And so there's a lot of different ways that you can help to help people access the value it created. If creating the value isn't enough, you have to help people see it, see how it fits into their lives with the translation and help them access it as well. Travis: This is really a completely unique way of looking at things; you've got me thinking on different levels. Where did this come from, how did you develop this? Braden: Well, one of the things that I specialize in is collecting and connecting dots and finding new ways to throw those dots up on the wall and hopefully result in portable mental models that are ideally very simple. So people can carry them around in the back of their mind so you don't have to pull some 300-page book off the shelf and try to find the right diagram somewhere in the book. But hopefully people can remember value creation, value access, and value translation, and just throw those up on a board and start identifying what value they're creating, how they're helping people access it, and how they're going to translate it for people. It's something that I created and that's something that comes from my muse and something that is hopefully one of my unique talents. So it's hard to describe where it came from. Travis: That's pretty good job of explaining, I mean, you don't need to explain exactly where it comes from. But in general, I like it because it's a complete, different way of thinking. Maybe not a complete different way but it's a different angle, coming at it from a different angle, right. Braden: Yes. I mean I think that-- When I wrote my books, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire and one of the reasons that I wrote it was because I was just so frustrated with picking up all these other books on innovation where I'd read 200 pages and I'd come away with like one insight out of that 200 pages. And
  12. 12. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 12 of 23 I thought great, okay that took me a couple of weeks to read and I got one thing out of it. And so I really wrote my book from the standpoint of identify and remove barriers in innovation and really try to surface as many insights as possible within the 200 pages that I wrote whether they were mine or other people. I'm not afraid to throw other people's great thinking out there as well when I think that people have come up with something really powerful. And I think that the key is to try to help people have things that they can carry around with them, that they can write on a piece of paper, or printout and put on their wall to help them remember, or pass out to their team to help guide their thinking and keep them focused. And I think there's a lot of overly complicated frameworks out there now as it relates to innovation. Travis: Right. So I guess from the business owner standpoint, and I have my own answer to this, although I want to hear yours first. I'm a business owner, why do I need to innovate? Braden: Well, my answer to that is that in any market, you're not generally the only one. In any market you're always seeking to compete and hopefully be number 1, or become number one or stay number 1. And so innovation is the way to keep you focused around creating new value and creating more value than every existing alternative. And a lot of us are entrepreneurial in nature, a lot of us are looking to challenge the status quo, and so if you don't invest in innovation, it's actually riskier than the risk that you take in investing in innovation. And I think that's something that people don't always grasp or don't always think about is that, you know, people think about investing in innovation is being risky because you might come up with an idea that you hopefully have grounded in a unique and differentiated customer inside that you think has promise. But there's no guarantee it's going to pay off. You might invest a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, a million dollars in developing something and it might completely fail. Hopefully you're investing in a handful of things, so hopefully one of them will succeed. Travis: Right. Braden: Hopefully you're creating a portfolio of ideas but even with that there's risk involved, and I think that a lot of people don't think about the fact that not doing that is actually risky as well. And I would argue, more risky than engaging in innovation and just be nearing to invest in staying at the top of the game. Travis: I agree with you. I think the number 1 innovation is, it would be naive to believe that other people that you're competing with, doing what you do, are not trying to improve how they do it. Braden: Right. Travis: And so innovation allows you to stay on the edge and push things, and possibly dominate your category. I think people get lulled into a false sense of security because something has worked for so long that they believe that just rinsing and repeating and doing the same thing over and over will
  13. 13. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 13 of 23 maintain their level of success. And it will for a short period of time, although it will lose its effectiveness. And so that for me, I've always been an innovator for a couple of reasons, I get very bored with the same old same old, and number 2 I want to dominate what I do, I want to be the absolute best. And you don't do that, or I don't feel like you achieve that without pressing some buttons and without willing to make a couple of mistakes or wrong moves along the way just as long as you remain accountable for them and dial it in, right? Braden: Right, and as you look at a business, operational excellence is incredibly important and quality if you're making products, or delivering services. Also incredibly important but the fact of the matter is the customers and their desires and what delights them doesn't stay static forever. And so if you don't keep innovating, if you don't keep investing and staying close to your customers, which ultimately, hopefully, will lead to innovation, then you may find yourself no longer at the top step of the podium so to speak. And if you look in the personal computer market, Dell was the number 1 for a long time but they totally missed the inflection point when things went from megahertz and megabytes to design. And they were investing next to nothing in design and HP came along and ate their lunch and moved to the top spot at that point in time. Travis: Yeah. Braden: Because they were investing more. And so, just because you're number one and just because you're doing a good job of executing your strategy doesn't mean the customer is going to change what they find important. And that creates both risk to your business if you're not investing in innovations, staying close to your customer, but also opportunity. Travis: Right. Braden: If you're not the number 1 player for you to try to jump to number 1 when that inflection point happens. Travis: Yeah, also the intangible that we're not talking about is innovation causes you to grow on a personal level. I know for me it has expanded me a wide range of directions that I didn't anticipate because of the journey that takes you down when you're doing it. Does that make sense? Braden: Yes. And I just published an article on Monday that revealed the secret of innovation success, and I can share it with you in one word, curiosity. Travis: Yes. Braden: So, stay curious my friend.
  14. 14. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 14 of 23 Travis: Yeah, I'm with you and its funny the way we started out this interview you were talking about kids and school. And I was very embarrassed about this for years, I was a terrible student. Now, you know I've had some pretty epic success in business. And a lot of the reasons why I've had success in business is because I'm curious and because I'm willing to push the boundaries, and I'm willing to scare myself, I'm willing to do things different. All of those things I just described are exactly what gets you in trouble in school. Braden: Right. Sit still, stay in your seat. Travis : Right. Don't push that, don't walk down there, what are you doing, all of those things. And so for years I was embarrassed about it because I don't like to be, I never wanted to be viewed as a trouble maker or a trouble kid or anything, it's just I couldn't sit still, you know. I even have a hard time sitting still now, is I'm just intoxicated and exhilarated, and excited about forward movement. And so, so many of the things that you've mentioned completely resonate with me. Let me go back a little bit because I took some notes and I want to go deeper on a couple of things. And so you said create a qual-- Create a goal for innovation. I was writing so fast my writing is terrible. Create a goal for innovation. So you get a clear objective of what you want when you decide to innovate in your company. I'm going to give you an example and you tell me if I'm on with this example, okay. Braden: Okay. Travis: Let's say I own a local business and my goal is to be-- I'm going to innovate to where I'm the most sought after company in my local area for quality and for value and people come to me without the focus on price but for the removal of risk. Is that a goal, or being the best at what I do locally, is that a goal for innovation? Braden: If you would have a way of measuring it, it could be a goal. Travis: Okay, so you have to quantify it, that's a goal for innovation. And one of the reasons why they use that as an example is I think a common problem a lot of people make is they focus on top line growth rather than bottom line growth. They want to grow things 200% whereas a couple of simple moves, if you strategically offer your services or your product and it's a high quality, well you can charge 20% more and make 300% more net profit, right? Braden: Uhm hmm Travis: And I think that's something that people miss. Okay, so let's move on to the next one then, write a term for innovation. So innovation can change the iteration or the meaning of innovation can change per person right?
  15. 15. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 15 of 23 Braden: Yes, and per organization, and I think it's important for an organization to sit down on a cross- functional way and a collaborative team focused way to define what innovation is going to mean for the organization. So anybody, anywhere in the organization says innovation or starts saying we need to innovate or we're going to innovate that they're all talking about the same thing. And so then you have to, of course widely communicate that definition as well. Hopefully along with your vision strategy and goals for innovation. Travis: Right, okay. Braden: Yeah. Travis: So that definitely makes sense, everybody's got to have the same vernacular. So, the difference between invention and innovation. So to me invention is creating something, innovation is making something better. Braden: So the way that I like to talk about it is invention is directly related to the act of creation or creativity. It's coming up with something new. But without making something widely adoptive, it's not innovation. So it's great that you come up with a new mousetrap or something but hundreds of other people come up with a new mousetrap every year. Apply for patents on new mousetraps every single year, but still we use the same little clap trap that was invented a 100 years ago. And so that means nobody has really innovated in the mousetrap space because if they had then we'd all be using that. And so it has to be widely adopted, it has to create more value than every existing alternative and make people want to go through the pain of replacing their existing solution, and that existing solution could be the dreaded "Do nothing" option which people forget about. People say, "Oh, I came up with something that nobody has come up with before, this is completely new to the world, nobody has come up with a solution before for this problem. And the reality is that even when you think that's true or even when you look across the landscape you can't find any other product or service that does it, people are still solving that problem and it may be by doing nothing. And they're still going to have to fight against that. Travis: Right. Braden: Still going to have to convince people to stop doing nothing, and that's not always as easy as you might think. Travis: Boy, amen to that. I see people creating products, good people, sharp people, creating products to solve a problem that most people don't realize that they even have a problem. A lot of problems only become clear to you after 20 years of living with it, right. Braden: Uhm hmm
  16. 16. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 16 of 23 Travis: And unfortunately trying to sell prevention to a problem that someone doesn't know that they have is a very tough sell, right. Braden: Yes, and if you really-- People also like to talk an innovation about a kind of two ends of the spectrum, one is disruptive innovation or radical innovation on one end. And then on the other end, the more incremental type innovations, things that are making a small change or improvement. And people often forget that when it comes to an incremental innovation you might get away with just explaining it because it anchors to something that people already understand. Kind of like how you're saying on the other end, on the disruptive end that people may not even understand that they have a problem. So as you move towards that radical or disruptive in the innovation spectrum, you need to invest in education at the same time and helping people understand what the problem is, understand that your solution can finally remove it for them. And more and more of that value translation piece of helping people understand how the solution fits into their lives, and you can see situations where people didn't invest in that education and failed as a result. Things like the Segway. The vision for the Segway is it was going to completely transform how we move around, and it was going to disrupt everything from the skateboard to the automobile. And that didn't happen, and a lot of that was the fact that they didn't invest enough time and effort in helping municipalities or cities understand that these things are going to be safe to ride on the sidewalk. Travis: Right. Braden: And getting permission for them to be ridden on the sidewalk. And so don't ignore the education component if you do really have something that's disruptive. Travis: Right. So, okay, and then the last one is value creation. Let's see. No, no. Those are the 3 that you had outlined already, the value creation, value translation, and then value access, right? Braden: Yup. Travis: Okay. So yeah, I agree with you. As a matter of fact I think we're taking a step back to what you said as far as the education. The day of one step marketing, buy my stuff, call job qualities number 1 is less and less effective than it ever has been before. And we're in an age where people need more nurturing, more education, more time spent on educating the why. And that speaks specifically to what you were talking about, right? Braden: Right. And we're also in a day and age where because we have so much information available, customers are expecting information to be available. And so that means that entrepreneurs and companies need to make sure that they have the right content available and the right places at the right times so that customers that don't want to be sold to can sell themselves. And that's also a change in mindset that people have to have and come to terms with us, it relates to marketing.
  17. 17. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 17 of 23 Travis: Yeah, I agree with you 100%. One of the things that you said that I wanted to comment on and I didn't made a note of it is you said you don't feel like you need to have the answers to everything. I think that's brilliant of you to be openly candid about that and I think the same way also. It's much better to just take a collaborative approach. When you're an expert on something, you still don't need to know that answer to everything. It's better to listen to a multiple of ideas and figure out what applies best to what you're doing. But I've been around people that because they've had success on one or two things feel like they know the answers to everything. And it's very hard to, or at least for me to consistently remain a part of their tribe if they have that ongoing, prevailing attitude. Braden: Right. Travis: And I don't know if that's just a filter of mine or is that a filter of yours and do you think that's a common thing amongst people today. Braden: Well, I think that some people do think that they know the best way or the right way. And I think that the better way to think about it or the mindset to have is that I know one way. And it's good to know one way because some people don't have any way of getting something done. So you're an expert because you know one way. But as soon as you start thinking it's the best way or the right way then you close yourself off to seeing when a better way comes along. So maintain the mindset of I know one way of how to do this. Travis: Exactly, and now, notice there's a flip side of that, okay. And I think that there's should be a tax on opinions. If you don't know for sure what you're talking about, then hold your tongue because there's so many people that deliver advise and other people take it as the actually what they should do, and this is serious stuff that affects their livelihood, their business, they're income. And they're taking the advice from people that actually know nothing. I see people write reviews on books and they hadn't read the book yet. And I'm like, why have you written this review, right? Braden: Yeah. Travis: So at the same time there is multiple ways to achieve something. But try to surround yourself by people that are going to give you advice based on what they know and hold their tongue whenever they don't know, or at least, clearly explained to you, this is my opinion, and I'll have experience in this because there's so much confusion. I belong to several different groups, and I see a lot of people going deep on topics that they're completely wrong on, when they really-- I guess they maybe they don't realize, they're doing themselves and the person that they're sharing the advise with justice, and I know that has a negative connotation but I get frustrated when I see people taking an advise that is going to harm them. Have you experienced that much and what's your opinion on that?
  18. 18. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 18 of 23 Braden: Well, being at a consultant and one of the things that I try to do in my practice is to be upfront honest because it's much better to admit that you don't know something than to have people find it out. And so I tried not say that I know the answer when I don't, and instead say, “I'll go find out” when I don't know the answer. And I think that it is true, that a lot of people will pretend that they know that that's the way or the best answer. And I think that people should always remember as a consumer of advice that they are the ones that are going to have to implement the advice. And as a deliverer of advice, I always try to keep in mind the fact that somebody else is going to have to deliver-- I'm not going to sit there and run the day to day operations for a client. So it's very important that I get them involved as early and often in crafting the solution with them based on what I know and what they know. Travis: Right. Braden: And what they can do. And to make each solution a custom solution that can actually be implemented. Travis: We need as many entrepreneurs as we can get. I'm completely convinced that entrepreneurship makes a person a better individual, a better human being. And I guess from me, my advice would be just be careful about-- Surround yourself with people that know what they're talking about on a topic when you seek advice, right? Braden: Right. Travis: And seek a mentor if you're going down a path and a path that you're not familiar with. Seek a mentor that's been down that path because those decisions can cut 18 months, 24 months, 4 years off of a journey, right? Braden: Right. Anytime you can learn from someone else’s mistakes, the fewer mistakes you have to make yourself. Travis: Yeah, and if possible having them interact with you and look at what you're doing and saying, "No, no, skip that, focus on this, eliminate A, B, C over there." It's just a great way to fast track a business. And it's the best way to dial down the background, nonsensical noise that could derail you and focus on what will give you a meaningful impact in the shortest period of time. Hey we're getting close on time so we need to transition into the lightning round, are you ready for the lightning round Braden? Braden: I am ready for the lightning round. Travis: Alright, a quick question for you, are you left brain, right brain? I have a suspicion on which I think you are but which one are you.
  19. 19. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 19 of 23 Braden: Both. Travis: Well, yeah, I know your both, but which did you start out as? Braden: I started out as the more logical side, but become more artistic. Travis: Yeah, that's what I suspected. Where do you think I started out, where would you guess? Braden: I would imagine similar. Travis: I started out right. Braden: I forget which is left and which is right. Travis: Right is the artistic, highly creative, highly innovative. Braden: Okay, alright. Travis: And left is the analytical. Braden: Okay, so it's the other way. Travis: Yeah, and so obviously the more you balance those two in-between each other the better your business becomes. But I started out as a right brain and had to learn to develop those left brain skills which took quite awhile. As you know, developing the other side that doesn't to you naturally can take some time right. Braden: Definitely. Travis: Alright. So let's rock out the lightning round. What's one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you've recently discovered, that you'd recommend to other business owners? Braden: This is rather unconventional but I'm going to say pencil and paper. Travis: Unplug huh. Braden: Because they still work when the battery runs out or the power goes off. Travis: Right. Braden: Sorry but a little notebook with a pen or pencil is still more powerful than any piece of advanced technology we've invented for the last 100 years. And so carrying around pencil and paper with me has been one thing I've started to do again.
  20. 20. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 20 of 23 Travis: Yeah, I do too. I keep a lot of notes in a notebook. And then I horde my notebooks, I've got tons of notebooks and I go back and scan through them, do you do that too? Braden: Yeah, and then one truth that I learned a few years ago is that just that simple act of writing something down helps you remember it. So even if you never go back and look at the notebook, the fact that you took the time to write something down will help you remember it better. Travis: Right. How about a book, what's a book or program that made an impact on you related to business that you'd recommend. Braden: Well, I will take the program tact here and say that the MBA Program at London Business School probably transformed my life more than anything else. I quit a 6-figure job in Silicon Valley, I sold or donated nearly all of my belongings and moved to a completely different country. And there I have the opportunity to study new things in a new place with people from all around the world and all those things coming together is a definite recipe for learning and growth. And at the same time I have the opportunity to make 400 new friends that are spread all around the world and the experience resulted in me becoming an entrepreneur where I have actually not a huge inclination to do so before. Travis: Very cool. What famous quote would best summarize your belief or your attitude in business? Braden: Well the one that I would like to say is from Pablo Picasso, and it is that "Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction." And I really like this quote because it reinforces it when it comes to innovation or it comes to entrepreneurship. There is something or someone in front of you that ultimately you are looking to destroy. And then your act of creation, you must expect and plan for the resistance you will face. So you must know your enemy and how you will defeat them even if you are fighting against the dreaded do nothing solution. Travis: Right. I agree with you. How do people connect with you? Braden: People can find me at which is my website. They can reach me on Twitter as @innovate, and then my-- I'm very visible on the internet so there's lots of ways to find me, and then of course can't forget to mention again which is the world's leading innovation website. Travis: There's no hiding on the inner web is there? Braden: No, so you have to be very careful in how you present yourself. Travis: So, listen man, I appreciate you taking the time to come hangout with us and share your complete and unique perspective on things, and your experience, and wisdom, and story with us. We
  21. 21. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 21 of 23 actually could go longer with talking on a variety of other topics. This is a topic that could go very deep and in a multiple of directions. Braden: Definitely, sometimes I go all day. Travis: Yeah, right. So thanks for taking that time. Can you hangout a couple of more minutes with us? Braden: Sure Travis. Travis: Cool. Alright, so listen, I want to remind you that you can find all of the links to the books and the resources mentioned in the show in the show notes. Just go to-- Braden can you sing? Braden: Can I sing? It depends on who you ask. My daughter would say yes, I don't know about what other people might say. Travis: Okay. I've been trying this. I normally do it with Sandra. And so you do the .com part whenever I read the website, you know, like the old Yahoo commercial. Braden: Okay. Travis: You don't have to sing a whole lot, just, you know, note that right. Braden: Okay. Travis: So the show notes are in, just go to RockStarEntpreneurNetwork Braden: .com Travis: It's a brand new site that we're building out that's completely focused on giving you resources to grow your business just like the show. And while you're there, I don't know if you remember, at the beginning of the show I mentioned that I had a challenge for you. And my challenge is this, I want you to click on the microphone icon on the right side of the screen, send me a voice message with a challenge or a problem that you're having with your business that you need advice or help on. What's keeping you from growing and finding that next level of success that would allow you to reach your true potential and make a difference? Are you struggling with marketing, staffing, sales, profits, innovation, right? It doesn't matter, any aspect of business I want you to-- You have 3 minutes, just leave your name, your business name and what you do and then what your problem is. And this is one of the ways that we help entrepreneurs just like you with their business to take it to that next level. So I challenge you to do that. I've mentioned this before, if you're having these problems, there's a very good chance that other people are having the similar problem. What we'll do is when we get enough good questions
  22. 22. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 22 of 23 we'll start answering them on air. We may take an entire episode to do that. So take a minute whenever you get a chance. I want to close the show today with a quote from Zig Ziglar, and the quote reads, "You can get everything in life you want, if you'll just help enough other people to get what they want." This is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now, remember, no matter where you're at in your journey as an entrepreneur, you're an inspiration to those around you to go after their dreams too. So I want to encourage you to keep it up. To your incredible success, do you want to say good bye Braden? Braden: Yes, so good-bye everyone and good bye Travis, and thank you for tuning in and I hope you continue to tune in to all of the great programs that Travis and hi co-host brings to you. End of Interview Travis: To your incredible success my friend, take care.
  23. 23. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 23 of 23 How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many “so called gurus” are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That’s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it’s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you’re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same. Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"