Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | Did the idea originate from Design Thinking application?

Plytix is an interesting company that is targeting the ability of brands to track their product performance above and beyond google analytics.

The question is what informal or formal did Design Thinking play in the founders discovery of the target customer and their idea?

Their press coverage is here

Company site

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hackathons Lack Design Thinking

hackathonsThe following article from FastCompany articulates some of the shortcomings of hackathons disguised as real innovation.

One added dimension is the lack of original Design Thinking application during the hackathons. Because there is not enough time to develop empathy with target customers.

I never saw any useful innovation come out of hackathons while driving internal innovation efforts for a large payments company.

In fact, saw many ideas that have been tried and discarded already because they did not resonate with the target customers.

Seems the real goal of hackathons within companies is to inject temporary excitement within the workforce that rapidly vanishes.

Continuous innovation culture requires company leadership commitment and resources.

FastCompany Article Here

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Building A Company Steve Job's style

This video documentary shows how Steve Job was building his NeXT computer (after leaving Apple). Notice how keeps saying 'let us build the company from our hearts'. There are other insights about how Steve Job's facilitated the company retreats and how he handled strong team members viewpoints.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

7 Tips To Sharpen Your Creative Senses

Shattering the myth that creative people are born that way, you can learn to be creative in your own way. Creativity is all about breaking our daily patterns. All you have to do is to set your mind to it and practice some of the following tips:

1.       Learn to read, make a habit out of reading regularly. Start small: pick a book and aim to read one paragraph every night or early in the morning (before your start your work). If you have a really hard time picking up a book, then pick a book about a subject that you absolutely detest. Once you finish the book, you will learn one new thing that you did not know before!

2.      Read widely: Read outside of your area of expertise. In particular, read outside of your technology focus. Perhaps read about behavioral psychology (Book examples: Freakonomics or Black Swan). Why? Great ideas do not emerge from domain experts! Great creative ideas emerge when you connect different dots from wider fields!

3.      Break your daily patterns: If you wear a watch, switch wearing your watch on alternate wrists every day. If you carry a wallet, put the wallet in left or right pockets & switch every day. If you wear your employer badge on the left side, alternate to the right side every other day. This is not a recommended habit with your shoes (i.e. flipping your shoes: right shoe on the left foot & left shoe on the right foot), however. J

4.      Take a different route home at least once a week! Why? You will see different neighborhoods, hear different sounds, as well as different bill boards that will break your daily patterns and sharpen your creative senses.

5.      Learn to doodle & draw. Here is an excellent source (can’t beat the $39 / year to learn how to draw your creative thoughts). Or download Paper app on your iPad; you will be shocked to learn the ease of drawing & doodling!

6.      Actively volunteer to a non-profit cause. You will find many opportunities to learn and help the people who appreciate all what you will do for them. This is a fertile ground for lots of creativity in order to improve people’s lives.

7.      Take long walks amongst nature at least 2-3 times a month. Why? There are no two similar trees in nature; there are no two similar leaves in nature. Did you know that all great creative people take regular long walks amongst nature? (Read biographies of Newton, Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin).

If you have your own habits, then please do share them by adding comments here. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3 Types Of Innovation Practices @ Companies

Innovation Motivation
Academic Term
Companies / Organizations
Change The World
Disruptive Innovation
Google, SpaceX, Gates Foundation, Tesla, Virgin Group, Grameen Group, Khan Academy,,

Sustain The Current Business
Sustaining Innovation
Belkin, Nest, Samsung, HTC, LG. PEPSI

Incremental Business Growth
Incremental Innovation
Apple, GE, AirBnB, Nike, Procter & Gamble, eBay, VMware
3 - 4

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

9 Tips To Enable Innovation.....Change the physical environment.

9 Things You Can Do To Create a Climate of Innovation At Companies

1.      Design spaces where people can get away from their desks. This may involve the creation of ‘focus areas” where employees can concentrate on their work

2.     Make sure the idea evaluation group panel is gender balanced: 50 women / 50 men

3.     Create opportunities for employees to run ideas past others with same interests (not sure about this one… you need opinion diversity)

4.     Create opportunities for idea people to actually get vicarious experience in their idea space (for better than research). Use Design Thinking techniques to see, hear, and observe their idea space. Utilize the experience of your team to create something new.

5.     Safe spaces should be considered whereby controversial or divergent ideas can be researched.

6.     Utilize outsiders who have no agenda to push to offer fresh perspective

7.     Avoid “group think” by working individually or in very diverse teams

8.    Innovation happens when there is least pressure on the group or individual. Avoid targets or goal setting in order that it may occur naturally

9.     Utilize skills and know-how of external stakeholders, customers and suppliers. They will want your business to thrive and may have insights not already seen
Have you considered the link between employee engagement and innovation?

Do you think if your teams were more closely aligned to your organizations vision and values that they could be more innovative?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Design Thinking Driven eBay Small Business Challenge Non profit edition Austin Tx

Small Business Challenge engaged 30 PayPal Austin Employees to help 6 non-profit/for-cause businesses improve their business. Shahid Khan constructed a design thinking driven PayPal employee orientation experience. Zak Aossey (summer intern) choreographed the internal marketing & exposure. The two-day design thinking centered orientation was called 'A Day In Utopia'.
Design Thinking driven employee training day was held in a beautiful art gallery in Down town Austin. Shahid led PayPal employees in the morning with 3-hour gift giving Design Thinking workshop preceded by 'Active/Empathy Listening' workshop.

The two workshops were rated 4.85 on a 1-5 scale (5 = awesome).

The following summary video captures the actual value delivered to partners by PayPal Austin employees & training day highlights.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Read Apple Quietly Pushed Into Online In-App payments

The following piece from site shares what Staples experienced with Apple Pay Online In-App revenue but not so much from physical in-store buyers.

The wise marketeers, innovators can learn (unlearn prior perceptions) and reflect on the emerging Apple Pay tsunami about to hit the incumbents. Lessons are succinctly captured in the 'The Wide Lens' book by Ron Adner.

This is Apple 5th expansion of the ecosystem leveraging carry over customers (prior non-customers). A true master of the innovation ecosystem.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Why Marketers Are Key Players in the Business Innovation Game

Why Marketers Are Key Players in the Business Innovation Game With the growth of international competition, technology and eBusiness, consumers can find high quality products and services faster, cheaper and easier than ever before. Companies are facing extreme competitive pressures. To maintain a competitive edge, companies must continuously innovate. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, innovative companies are expected to grow 60% in the next five years, while 20% of such firms are... Continue reading

from Innovation Excellence


Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Science Behind How Boredom Benefits Creative Thought

Recent studies show that a little boredom in your day opens up the potential for more creative thinking.

Boredom gets a bad rap. Truly amazing ideas and offbeat solutions have often come from endless hours of daydreaming.

Read Full Story

from Fast Company


Looking to Sharpen Your Creativity Muscle To Uncover Great Ideas

Here are some resources that will help you immensely.

1.       Thinker Toys By Michael Mchalko
2.      Cracking creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius by Michael Mchalko
3.      Weird Ideas That Work: How to Build a Creative Company by Robert Sutton
4.      Ten Faces of Innovation by Thomas Kelley & Jonathan Littman
6.      Mindtools Creativity Tools:
7.      Standford D(esign) School (great tools)
8.     Tim Brown TED Talk on creativity & play
9.      Jump Start:
12.  100 What’s of Creativity: http:
13.  Prompts for SCAMPER:

Note: If you like to buy the books above, you may want to try or for used books (sometimes prices are very good).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

High Moral Values and Innovation

Volvo Saved My Life (ad) In 1959 Nils Bohlin, an engineer at the Swedish Car Manufacturer Volvo, invented the first three point safety belt. It was much more effective than the standard lap belt (as still used on airplanes). Volvo, realising the importance of this invention, chose not to patent it but to share the idea with other vehicle manufacturers. They may have lost some revenues but their action undoubtedly saved many lives and it cemented Volvo’s reputation as a highly ethical company committed to safety. Continue reading

from Innovation Excellence


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Great Companies Are Making All Meetings Optional

Atlassian's infographic shows that the average employee spends 31 hours a month in meetings and considers at least 50 percent of them a complete waste of time. Ninety-one percent daydream, 75 percent do other work, and 39 percent sleep during at least some of them. via Pocket