2. uring World War II, the
aerospace giant Lockheed
created a remote incubator to
tackle the war’s most critical
tasks. German jet fighters
had just appeared over Europe,
and America needed a counterpunch.
The mission was unbelievable critical,
THE DEADLINE IMPOSSIBLY TIGHT.
3. THE NEW REMOTE OFFICE was
intentionally located in a circus tent next
to an exceptionally stinky plastics factory
(to keep nosy people away).
The strong smells that wafted into the tent
made the Lockheed R&D workers think of
the foul-smelling “Skunk Works” factory in
Al Capp’s legendary comic strip Li’l Abner.
4. The small team inside the stinky
tent designed and built America's
first jet fighter in just 143 days,
and created a philosophy for
rapid innovation which
companies copy to this day.
WHENEVER A COMPANY WANTED TO
GO BOLD, SKUNK WAS OFTEN THE
WAY INNOVATION GOT DONE.
is often used to describe an especially
enriched environment that is intended
to help a small group of individuals
design a new idea by escaping routine
8. Why is it better to be a pirate?
Why does the skunk methodology
consistently foster such great results?
And most important, what does this
have to do with today’s entrepreneur
and a desire to tackle the BOLD?
TURNS OUT, PLENTY.
10. They are created to tackle
the Herculean, purposefully
built around what
It’s the difficult
nature of those
goals that is actually
the first secret
to skunk success.
COMPANIES DO NOT GO SKUNK
FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL.
11. If you want the largest increase
in motivation and productivity, then
BIG GOALS lead to the
BIG GOALS significantly outperform
small goals, medium-sized
goals, and vague goals.
12. It comes down to ATTENTION
and PERSISTENCE — which are
two of the most important factors
in determining performance.
help focus attention,
and they make us
13. THE RESULT is...
Because the practice focuses attention & increases
motivation, BY SETTING BIG GOALS WE’RE ACTUALLY
HELPING OURSELVES ACHIEVE THOSE BIG GOALS.
we’re much more effective
when we work, and
we’re much more willing to get
up and try again when we fail.
15. WALL THE
off from the rest
of the corporate
stimulates risk taking,
encouraging ideas weird
and wild, and acting
as a counterforce to
ISOLATION MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT
KEY TO SUCCESS IN A SKUNK WORKS.
16. ORGANIZATIONAL INERTIA IS
the notion that once any company achieves
success, its desire to develop and champion
radical new technologies and
directions is often tempered
by the much stronger
desire not to disrupt
and lose their
17. ORGANIZATIONAL INERTIA IS
FEAR OF FAILURE WRIT LARGE. IT IS
brilliance of the
is, well, barely
18. Just as the
successful skunk works
isolates the innovation team
from the greater organization,
need a buffer between
themselves and the
rest of society.
19. In any organization the bulk of your people will be
climbing the hill they’re standing on. That’s what you
want them to do. That’s their job.
A SKUNK WORKS DOES A
TOTALLY DIFFERENT JOB.
It’s a group of people looking for a better hill to climb.
This is threatening to the rest of the organization. It
just makes good sense to separate these two groups.”
ASTRO TELLER, DIRECTOR
“GOOGLE X” LABORATORIES [X]
20. S K U N K S E C R E T # 3
21. and this means having a strategy in place to
handle risk and learn from mistakes is critical.
If you’re looking for a quick & dirty understanding,
try the unofficial motto of Silicon Valley:
“FAIL EARLY, FAIL
OFTEN, FAIL FORWARD.”
THE ROAD TO BOLD is paved with failure,
X X X X X X
23. INSTEAD OF LAUNCHING A FINELY
POLISHED GEM, COMPANIES NOW:
Release a “minimum viable product,”
then get immediate feedback from
customers, incorporate that feedback
into the next iteration, release a slightly
upgraded version, and repeat.
Instead of design cycles that last years,
the agile process takes weeks and produces
results directly in line with consumer
expectations. THIS IS RAPID ITERATION.
24. TRYING OUT CRAZY IDEAS
means bucking expert opinion and
taking big risks. It means not being
afraid to fail. Because you will fail.
“If you’re not embarrassed by the
first version of your product, you’ve
launched too late.”
— REID HOFFMAN, LINKEDIN FOUNDER
26. FOR MOST OF THE LAST CENTURY, science
focused on extrinsic rewards, that is, external
motivators, “if-then” conditions of the
“do this to get that” variety.
WITH EXTRINSIC REWARDS, WE INCENTIVIZE
THE BEHAVIOR WE WANT MORE OF AND
PUNISH THE BEHAVIOR WE DISLIKE.
For example, in business when we want to drive
performance, we offer classic extrinsic rewards:
bonuses (money) and promotions (money & prestige).
27. UNFORTUNATELY, AN
EVER-GROWING PILE OF RESEARCH
SHOWS THAT EXTRINSIC REWARDS
DO NOT WORK LIKE MOST SUPPOSE.
Once people’s basic needs are no longer a
constant cause for concern, extrinsic rewards
lose their effectiveness and can CRUSH THE
HIGH-LEVEL, CREATIVE, CONCEPTUAL ABILITIES
THAT ARE CENTRAL to current and future
economic and social progress.
29. Science shows that the
SECRET TO HIGH PERFORMANCE
30. THESE THREE INTRINSIC REWARDS ARE THE
VERY MOTIVATORS THAT MOTIVATE US MOST.
...BUT OUR THIRD DRIVE—
our deep-seated desire to direct our
own lives, to extend and expand our
abilities, and to fill our life with purpose.
31. Since Lockheed’s massive success, everyone
from Raytheon and DuPont to Walmart and
Nordstrom has gotten in on the skunk game.
In the early 1980s, Apple cofounder
Steve Jobs leased a building behind the
Good Earth restaurant in Silicon Valley,
stocked it with twenty brilliant designers,
and created his own skunk works to
build the first Macintosh computer.
32. THE SKUNK APPROACH is one of the most
successful in modern history. The same
philosophy can be applied to any business
or entrepreneur looking TO GO BOLD.
TO ACCOMPLISH THE
33. BOLDis a visionary roadmap
for people who believe they
can change the world—
and offers invaluable advice
about bringing together
patterns and technologies
to help them do it.
— PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
Order BOLD Today!