Business

30 Insights from 10 Famous Innovators

Skoll World Forum

This column is by Founder of FORTH innovation method, Gijs van Wulfen

As you know, innovation for most of us is a frustrating business. Few people are extremely successful in it, though. I just wondered what their innovation secrets are and what we can learn from them.

That’s why Siemen Eijkemans and I studied ten very successful famous innovators. The list of famous innovators is of course very subjective, I know. We picked 3 typical innovation insights of each of them and a wonderful quote. I hope their insights and quotes will inspire you on your innovation journey.

Jeff Bezos (founder Amazon.com):

  1. Be a thorough researcher;
  2. Bring together a talented diverse group of people
  3. Ideas are easy. It’s execution that’s hard.

Quote: “Be prepared to tread into areas where others have never trodden before”.

Richard Branson (founder Virgin Group):

  1. Step outside of comfort zone;
  2. Mix business with pleasure;
  3. Take calculated risks.

Quote: “The challenge is to follow through on a great idea.” 

Michael Dell (founder Dell computer corp.):

  1. Have a big dream;
  2. Break the regular value chain (sell direct);
  3. Spend time with customers.
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Quote: “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”

James Dyson (founder Dyson company):

  1. Be curious;
  2. Use new technology to solve common day problems;
  3. Make the perfect product.

Quote: “You never learn from success, but you do learn from failure”.

Steve Jobs (Co-founder Apple):

  1. Be committed to perfection;
  2. Say no to 1,000 things;
  3. Sell dreams not products.

Quote: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad (founder IKEA):

  1. Break the pattern;
  2. Simplify;
  3. Persist.

Quote: ‘Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.”

Shigeru Miyamoto (Creator of Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Nintendo Wii):

  1. Start from scratch;
  2. Be the first one;
  3. Listen to your inner voice.

Quote: “To create a new standard, you have to be up for that challenge and really enjoy it”.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google):

  1. Improve the lives of as many people as possible;
  2. Give value for free;
  3. Don’t take yourself to seriously.
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Quote Larry Page: ‘great just isn’t good enough”.

Elon Musk (Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX):

  1. Work 80-100 hours a week;
  2. Pick the right team;
  3. Know when to grow.

Quote: “You want to have a future where you’re expecting things to be better, not one where you’re expecting things to be worse.”

Desmond Tutu (Social innovator, Archbishop and social rights activist):

  1. Be authentic;
  2. Be critical and speak out;
  3. Never give up.

Quote: “I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.”

Summarizing these 30 insights, it comes down to five essential ones:

  1. Think Big
  2. Be Original
  3. Be Perfect
  4. Stay Critical
  5. Persist.

Wishing you lots of success innovating your private lives, your jobs, your organizations and our planet earth.


Image Credit: Flickr

Disclaimer: This is a curated post. The statements, opinions and data contained in this column are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire or its editor(s). This article in its original form was published here.


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