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Innovation: from Zero to 0.1
Howard Gray
@howardgray
- 2 x Founder
- Product Manager
- Facilitator with Decoded
- DJ (Almost Retired)
What is Innovation?
(it’s definitely a buzzword)
It’s a tech thing,
right?
Something for rocket scientists?
This gentleman is a real rocket scientist
A better definition
“Seeing what everyone
has seen and thinking
what no one has
thought.”
Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Or perhaps a little more practical:
Executing on new ideas that
improve on the status quo and
create value
(often by solvi...
● For children in rural India
● Cardboard desk & bag in one
● Cost effective and practical
● No APIs or lab coats in sight...
My big idea
This is my ‘idea generation’ face
Demystify the world of work
for young people
Eureka! A solution
● I know about music festivals
● Young people like them
● They’re interesting businesses
● I’ve done a ...
2 months work
$4k on a developer
Lots of bug fixing
It’s ready!
“We can’t use this -
the school authority
won’t accredit it”
Teacher
Why did I fail?
● Too many assumptions
● Focused on solution first
How could it be done better?
It was time to
consult Pablo.
“Paintings are but research
and experiment. I never do a
painting as a work of art. All
of them are experiments.”
Pablo Pi...
Research
Experiments
Research
Start by asking (good)
questions
Be a detective, like Columbo.
Detective Work: First Attempt
Do you want a better job?
Me Them
Yeah!
Ok! Do you want to buy my
magical job software thing?
Oh. Ok.
Bye.
This guy is
wei...
FAIL
Detective Work: Second Attempt
Sixth
How did you go about setting
your career goals for this year?
Me Them
Well, first I…
...then I…
What was frustrating
about...
WIN
Big Problems:
- Not enough practical career advice
available
- Struggle to hit goals
Smaller problems:
- Finding a job
- U...
Possible solutions:
- Easily available career advice
- Smarter goal setting
But remember:
Next: Experiments
A good experiment =
Minimum cost
Maximum learning
Cost
WIN
Learning
$
$$$$
0 1
V0.01
Asking friends if I
could help them
Cost: 2 hours + $20 of coffee
Local hipster barista dude
Learning:
- I can help with a few challenges,
but not enough
V0.02:
One page website
sent to my network
Cost: 3 hours + $12
Learning:
- Lots of people want to help,
but finding good pairings is tough
v0.03:
Goal Setting website
for me and my friend
Bobby
Cost: 2 hours
Learning:
- A bit clunky, but it works!
V0.04:
Let other people use the goal setting
website
Cost: 4 hours + $12
Total cost for 4 experiments:
- 11 hours + $44
- Custom tech built: zero
- Rocket scientists: zero
The next experiment:
- Does this solve their problem?
Then:
- Will they pay for this?
And so on…
Build
MeasureLearn
These experiments
were each a simple
loop:
Build, measure the
results, then take the
learnings into the...
Takeaways
- Innovation doesn’t have to mean tech
- Ask good questions, don’t assume
- You’re a detective, then a scientist
- Run mini experiments: learning vs cost
- You can get a long way with a little
- If in doubt, solve someone’s problem
Thanks!
Howard Gray
www.howardgray.net
@howardgray
From zero to 0.1: a brief introduction to innovation
From zero to 0.1: a brief introduction to innovation
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A primer on innovation: what it means, what it doesn't, how to test your ideas, and a cautionary tale from a failed attempt of my own.

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From zero to 0.1: a brief introduction to innovation

  1. 1. Innovation: from Zero to 0.1 Howard Gray @howardgray
  2. 2. - 2 x Founder - Product Manager - Facilitator with Decoded - DJ (Almost Retired)
  3. 3. What is Innovation? (it’s definitely a buzzword)
  4. 4. It’s a tech thing, right? Something for rocket scientists? This gentleman is a real rocket scientist
  5. 5. A better definition “Seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what no one has thought.” Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  6. 6. Or perhaps a little more practical: Executing on new ideas that improve on the status quo and create value (often by solving people’s problems)
  7. 7. ● For children in rural India ● Cardboard desk & bag in one ● Cost effective and practical ● No APIs or lab coats in sight Innovation in practice: Help Desk
  8. 8. My big idea This is my ‘idea generation’ face
  9. 9. Demystify the world of work for young people
  10. 10. Eureka! A solution ● I know about music festivals ● Young people like them ● They’re interesting businesses ● I’ve done a workshop on this already ● It was fun and people got a lot out of it ● I’ll turn it into software for schools and community groups!
  11. 11. 2 months work $4k on a developer Lots of bug fixing
  12. 12. It’s ready!
  13. 13. “We can’t use this - the school authority won’t accredit it” Teacher
  14. 14. Why did I fail? ● Too many assumptions ● Focused on solution first
  15. 15. How could it be done better?
  16. 16. It was time to consult Pablo.
  17. 17. “Paintings are but research and experiment. I never do a painting as a work of art. All of them are experiments.” Pablo Picasso
  18. 18. Research Experiments
  19. 19. Research Start by asking (good) questions Be a detective, like Columbo.
  20. 20. Detective Work: First Attempt
  21. 21. Do you want a better job? Me Them Yeah! Ok! Do you want to buy my magical job software thing? Oh. Ok. Bye. This guy is weird.Umm, not really.
  22. 22. FAIL
  23. 23. Detective Work: Second Attempt Sixth
  24. 24. How did you go about setting your career goals for this year? Me Them Well, first I… ...then I… What was frustrating about that? Thanks! This is really useful! Oh! That bit SUCKED because… ...and then… This is strangely therapeutic
  25. 25. WIN
  26. 26. Big Problems: - Not enough practical career advice available - Struggle to hit goals Smaller problems: - Finding a job - Understanding job specs
  27. 27. Possible solutions: - Easily available career advice - Smarter goal setting
  28. 28. But remember:
  29. 29. Next: Experiments
  30. 30. A good experiment = Minimum cost Maximum learning Cost WIN Learning $ $$$$ 0 1
  31. 31. V0.01 Asking friends if I could help them Cost: 2 hours + $20 of coffee Local hipster barista dude
  32. 32. Learning: - I can help with a few challenges, but not enough
  33. 33. V0.02: One page website sent to my network Cost: 3 hours + $12
  34. 34. Learning: - Lots of people want to help, but finding good pairings is tough
  35. 35. v0.03: Goal Setting website for me and my friend Bobby Cost: 2 hours
  36. 36. Learning: - A bit clunky, but it works!
  37. 37. V0.04: Let other people use the goal setting website Cost: 4 hours + $12
  38. 38. Total cost for 4 experiments: - 11 hours + $44 - Custom tech built: zero - Rocket scientists: zero
  39. 39. The next experiment: - Does this solve their problem?
  40. 40. Then: - Will they pay for this?
  41. 41. And so on…
  42. 42. Build MeasureLearn These experiments were each a simple loop: Build, measure the results, then take the learnings into the next experiment to build
  43. 43. Takeaways
  44. 44. - Innovation doesn’t have to mean tech - Ask good questions, don’t assume - You’re a detective, then a scientist
  45. 45. - Run mini experiments: learning vs cost - You can get a long way with a little - If in doubt, solve someone’s problem
  46. 46. Thanks! Howard Gray www.howardgray.net @howardgray
  • RaulMartin10

    May. 28, 2018

A primer on innovation: what it means, what it doesn't, how to test your ideas, and a cautionary tale from a failed attempt of my own.

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