Phil McKinney, CTO for HP’s Personal Systems Group, is “passionate about creativity and innovation.” He hosts the Killer Innovations podcast and has a Twitter feed of on-going killer questions to ask regarding innovation.
Here is an excellent 20 minute presentation that he gave at this Maker Faire.
Phil starts with “knowledge is a commodity” and then outlines a methodical approach to driving innovation. I particularly liked his “FIRE” power:
FIRE: Focus, Ideation, Ranking, Execution.
I would suggest that “ideas” are, too, a commodity. I’m not suggesting that we stop creating or that everything that could be invented has been invented but with the pervasiveness and commoditization of “knowledge,” ideas are a plenty and it’s only through “execution” that innovation truly occurs.
William Hewlett and David Packard didn’t leave their idea, a variable audio oscillator that was used to test sound quality, in the garage. Instead, they marketed and sold the first 8 of them to Walt Disney for work on “Fantasia.” In fact, they had other ideas too (a foot-foul indicator for bowling and automatic flushers) but William and David focused, prioritized and executed on their oscillator idea and, as a result, built the largest technology company in the world.
It’s worth noting that Phil’s presentation was on creating killer “innovations” and not killer “ideas.” The point is that innovation is the result of ideas in action. Or as our CEO, Jim Kavanaugh, reminds the team,”It’s all about execution.”
That’s the Garage where it all began for Hewlett Packard in 1938 and now considered the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” Thanks Wikipedia for the non-copyrighted photo.