Innovation Culture

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

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Innovation Culture

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

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