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Many people bemoan the fact that we have to keep moving from platform to platform, as they evolve from person-to-person communications tools to megaphones for big media.

Take podcasting, for example:

I first heard of podcasting back in 2005 from Wired magazine (which I used to read religiously). The cover was very stark and distinctive — it was titled “ The End Of Radio “ — a bullet smashing open an old school AM radio. Reading the article intrigued me — this “new technology,” combining the use of RSS to deliver a series of audio files to a listener was a neat new concept — but the most disruptive thing about it was the thought that this could provide a platform to regular folks like us who have something to say but no channels to say it in. …

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You’ve heard of Dollar Shave Club?

The scrappy startup which started marketing by putting ironic videos on social media that spoke directly to the burgeoning millennial male who just had to shave every day? Sick and tired of the Gillette/Shick cabal, which comes out with a new razor every few years or so, and charges an arm and a leg for the razor and the blades. What a pain in the ass to keep buying blades when they ran out every few weeks or months?

Dollar Shave Club promised better shaves, and a better price, delivered on a regular basis. All you had to do was to go onto the website and sign up, and then the product would just show up automatically. The charges would happen automatically and you never needed to worry about having blades in whenever you needed them. …

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You’ve probably heard a variation of this quote a thousand times:

Ideas don’t matter. Ideas are a dime-a-dozen. Execution matters.

This statement, like Schroedinger’s Cat being both dead and alive, is both true and not accurate. Execution matters, but ideas matter too.

Of course, you might think this is self-evident. Maybe the only reason why innovators use that quote is that they are trying to convince you that if you don’t execute on the ideas you generate, then they won’t matter, which is right to a point. …

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In the Intellectual Property space, we have a service that exists solely to generate product ideas that may never see the light of day. This is called “Targeted IP Generation.” These ideas need to be designed from the ground up to not be currently developable in the current environment or by the specific company.

This is generating ideas specific to patenting. These are used to build out a patent portfolio that can be licensed later, used in defense, or possibly used for a future product.

These ideas are designed not for today but tomorrow, when you may actually build them. …

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A few posts back, I wrote a note about something I’d recently seen in one of the all-hands meetings of one of my clients. This financial services company had been in business for a very long time, and moving innovative products and services to market was a huge challenge. Even in good times, this firm was highly risk-averse and frequently fell behind its competitors in providing new customer-friendly experiences. However, senior management was unconcerned since they considered themselves too big to fail. …

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Some may say that extroverts are always more successful than introverts. Some say the opposite. Some say that you need to be a bit of both. I think I’m an ambivert, a little of this, a bit of that.

To hold a useful design thinking session, you need both introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts. It would be best if you ensured that both types of individuals to ideate in a way that makes them comfortable. Introverts and extroverts ideate in entirely different ways — and you need to account for this.

This is one of the reasons I always include personal/individual ideation and group/team ideation in every design thinking ideation session. …

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Something I learned: the human brain is a fantastic thing.

Have you ever looked around you and marveled at your surroundings (unless you are sitting in a forest right now) and realized that a human-invented almost everything around you? Your keyboard, your computer, your monitor, your desk, your mouse, your smartphone, paper, pens, video cameras, room, house, the city was are the outputs of the human mind.

Someone made those things happen. Someone came up with those things, created them, and showed them to others. Those others realized that those things had value and were willing to trade stuff for those things. …

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Since we are hurtling rapidly towards a future where we will have the choices above, who will you pick?

Imagine a time in a not too distant future. Let’s say that you have built up a sizeable nest egg of investments in several different areas — well balanced and making money. You have personally managed it into this state. However, you are tired of the work involved and would like your broker to take it off your plate. Your broker responds with a new service. Two new services:

Or

They both cost the same. They both have shown to be successful. Which one would you choose? Or do you decide to continue managing your portfolio? …

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We live in a fantastic time. We now have more processing power in our watches than we used to have on our desks or even in giant server rooms.

But the lack of constraints has made us lazy.

I’ve been an engineer for most of my career. When I first started coding, we had to learn how to code in a minimal amount of memory. We had to continually find new ways to sharpen our code, refactor it to run faster and tighter, in smaller and smaller spaces. …

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Ever been in an ideation session that pits the DoIts against the ShouldWes? Yep — first the DoIts pitch an idea, and then the Should Wes shoot it down. The DoIts are trying to move the ball forward into the future — while the ShouldWes are using the past to dictate the future. Why does this happen?

Sure, we all are mired in the day-to-day operations before we go into the ideation session. Sure, we all know that we are here to come up with new ideas, new products, new services, new patents, new strategic directions, new cultures, new processes. …

About

Chris Kalaboukis

chief philosopher, engineer, futurist, innovator, podcaster, author & strategist. co-founder http://hellofuture.co

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