Working in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades, I’m frequently exposed to the concept of innovation. Sometimes even overexposed to the point of hype. But what I’ve learned over the years is that innovation isn’t limited to technology companies, driven by a secret algorithm or framework yielding the next game changing software or hardware product. Rather, innovation is all around us, perhaps equally generated by accident, or by trial and error, as it is from an organized innovation initiative. It’s evident in all aspects of my daily life, from cooking, to music, to travel, and theater as well as technology and is globally true. What I’ve observed though is that the universal factors in the entrepreneurial attitude that creates such innovation are curiosity and perseverance. Curiosity to investigate multiple options and approaches and the perseverance to keep going when those initial options keep failing and conventional wisdom all around you is saying it won’t work.
As I reflect in my own diverse and seemingly unrelated interests just in the last two months, such innovative spirit is very evident. Two examples in particular reinforced this to me. (more…)