Innovation principles in practice: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 17, 19

Principle 1: Experience the world instead of talking about experiencing the world

Principle 2: See and hear with the mind of a child

Principle 5: Anything can be prototyped.  You can prototype with anything

Principle 6: Live life at the intersection

Principle 8: Most new ideas aren't

Principle 17: It's not the years, it's the mileage

Principle 19: Have a point of view


I love this video by Ice Cube.  It got me thinking about my approach to principles 6 and 8.

Ice Cube is a remarkable person.  When I learn in this video that he studied architectural drafting, his compositional approach to the structure of his music makes total sense.  And you can feel the authenticity of his knowledge of the architecture and built environment of LA.  Every great innovator I know makes for a great dinner partner, in the sense that they invariable have a wide array of life interests, for which many they are a bonafide expert.  Being interested in many areas, knowing a lot about a few but being willing and curious to learn about the rest, is the stuff that great innovators are made of.  Given all of this, I need to expand Principle 6, Live life at the intersection, to embrace the idea of being able to pull from, and make connections across, many buckets.

He ends the video by talking about Ray and Charles Eames engaging in mashup activity before mashups were cool.  There's a saying that if you're not stealing (from your predecessors), you're not designing, and that's been the thrust of Principle 8 for me: you should proceed with the humility to believe that someone, somewhere, created something you can learn from.  But I like the idea of sampling more.  Just as Ice Cube and other musicians sample each other's work to create new, perhaps we should substitute the notion of "sampling" for "stealing".  Take a sample of something already in the world, learn from it, extract the essence of it, and mash it up with your current threads to get to something wonderful, remarkable, and new.