Exponential Innovation http://exponentiali.com How do you move from 10% growth to 10X growth? Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:40:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://i1.wp.com/exponentiali.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_0281.png?fit=32%2C32 Exponential Innovation http://exponentiali.com 32 32 141058189 The Innovation Experiment: Year 4. http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/the-innovation-experiment-year-4/ Sun, 10 Sep 2017 11:38:11 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/the-innovation-experiment-year-4/ It’s year four of my experiment to figure out how to apply startup and scale-up techniques, tools, and tactics to corporate innovation. After selling GetViable in 2013, a platform to help founders get from idea to MVP, I wanted to solve a bigger, seemingly obvious problem. How do you connect start-ups to corporate innovators to drive value for both? Since ...

The post The Innovation Experiment: Year 4. appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>

It’s year four of my experiment to figure out how to apply startup and scale-up techniques, tools, and tactics to corporate innovation.

After selling GetViable in 2013, a platform to help founders get from idea to MVP, I wanted to solve a bigger, seemingly obvious problem. How do you connect start-ups to corporate innovators to drive value for both?

Since July 2014 I’ve been running a multi-year experiment, to understand how to plug start-ups into corporates. Start-ups have ideas, entrepreneurial people and freedom of thought and corporates have money, scale, resources, mature processes, and customers.

My thesis is that you can use well-proven techniques, tactics, and tools used by start-ups and scale-ups in a corporate innovation environment to drive real innovation that delivers results.

What are great innovation results anyway?

  • An employee engagement program to help staff think about problems in a new way, amplifying the work of the frustrated innovators in the business.
  • A training program to teach these techniques to staff, like Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Pretotyping and Pirate Metrics so they have the tools to stop and assess ideas before wasting precious resources on the wrong ideas.
  • An experimentation program to rapidly test, learn and prepare for new technologies, services or business models.
  • An evangelist to help the organization to understand that the sky is falling right now and we better get off our asses and innovate.

Or the holy grail.

  • Creating disruptive, non-organic growth by finding that 10x breakthrough product that customers love and will part with cash to have.

All I needed was a company willing to let me figure it out.

Three years later I’ve worked for two of these companies.

Experiment 1: Outside-in. Consulting with ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks is on the edge of self-managed, empowered people/culture. They have a reputation for excellent, smart technical people, are niche and expensive and attract clients that want this. Perfect.

ThoughtWorks attracted this client-base and sent me in whenever someone said ‘disruption’, ‘innovation’, ‘startup’, ‘accelerator’, ‘fail-fast’, ‘lean startup’, etc.
This allowed me to engage with forward-thinking members of large corporates who wanted to learn more and experiment.
Finding the brave soul driving innovation at these companies is key.

This gave me a good level of insight of what Tier 1 companies in Australia and New Zealand think innovation is, how they approach innovation and the challenges and opportunities executing innovation projects.

What I learned here is:

  • Innovation creates strategic advantage. Most clients are happy for short-term engagements but realise very quickly that they need to execute their innovation initiatives themselves for exactly this reason. The challenge is they don’t have the right people, mindset or tools and techniques to do so in most cases.
  • There is an abundance of smart people and great ideas inside each business. They just need to be unleashed and appropriately guided and managed. Finding ideas is not the problem — figuring out which ideas to pursue or discard is the challenge. Pretotyping is ideal for this.

The opposite, however, is true.

  • Sticking ideas onto a wall, chatting about them, Lean Startup, Lean Canvas, Pretotyping, etc. seem simple on the surface. Few people put in the effort to understand and execute these correctly or to learn the right way to approach early stage innovation, resulting in poor outcomes, money and time wasted on the wrong ideas and as a result, surprise — poor or no outcomes.

Experiment 1 Complete. It was time to move on.

Experiment 2: Inside-out. Heading Innovation at Sportsbet

I was looking for a high growth, digital e-commerce company that genuinely wanted to experiment and innovate. The company also had to be relatively autonomous with decision making — hard to find in Australia as most larger corporates are sales offices of larger conglomerates, regardless of what they tell you. I wanted to have a platform to figure out what worked, test these techniques at scale and plug early stage start-ups into the process to innovate at pace.

Sportsbet fit the bill perfectly for this phase of the experiment. Sportsbet gave me a decent budget and leeway to mold the team in the best way we could. We settled on three startup techniques to filter out the good ideas from the not-yet-ready ideas:

We tested hundreds of ideas by combining these three approaches, saving millions of dollars by not building the wrong stuff. Quickly validating ideas to productise them and creating an environment where everyone could participate in innovation.

What I learned here

One the biggest learnings is that innovation is a new discipline for most and tough to execute.

As an Innovation Leader:

  • You’re a change agent. And everybody hates change.
  • You’re an evangelist.
  • You’re a salesperson.
  • You’re a technologist.
  • You’re a VC.
  • You’re a cynical optimist.
  • You’re a storyteller.
  • You’re a mentor.
  • You’re a relentless communicator.

Outside again

At the end of July 2017, I left the Head of Innovation role at Sportsbet.

Every few years I like to step out, assess the landscape and deliberately choose where I focus my energy next. This is that time.

I think of employers as systems I pass through where we exchange value — I bring knowledge, capability, and outcomes and they bring knowledge, resources, customers, and cash. This relationship needs to be in balance, and when it’s not one of us should leave.

In both cases, I decided to leave while we still valued and liked each other. The business is in a good state to continue on the innovation path it has chosen, hopefully enhanced in some small way by me being there. My relationship with the people and business remain in place for future engagement.

After three years, I’ve learned that Innovation Leadership needs:

Do you accept innovation-led growth as absolutely critical, and do you have cascaded targets that reflect this?

which concludes with

‘In our experience, though, CEOs are likely just going through the motions if they don’t use evaluations and remuneration to assess and recognise the contribution that all top managers make to innovation.’

  • a three-year horizon at most. Why? This is the tenure of many CEO’s and they’re working for their near-term bonus unless…
  • there is an environment of genuine constraint to get traction. Think energy retailers, general retailers under threat from Amazon, the music industry, etc
  • an unwavering belief and trust that the ‘process’ will deliver tangible and intangible benefits to the business,
  • strategic clarity and alignment,
  • the right people. People that don’t fit properly, challenge the norm, have startup or innovation experience and Get Shit Done.
  • space and time to experiment,
  • a global network of relationships,
  • humility,
  • being a strong and active node in the local innovation network (see Brad Feld’s thinking).

Experiment 3: Outside-in?

I know it’s time to move on and find the next thing. Right now this looks like working with scale-ups, accelerators, engaging with corporate innovators, venture partnering or innovation consulting.

I want a broader perspective and success looks like this:

When I look back in a few years time I’ve helped to impact entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, and the innovation ecosystem positively, at scale.

As the next step I’ve just returned from spending time with some of the biggest thinkers I know — the Singularity University Global Summit in San Francisco. This conference made a tremendous impact on my thinking last year and this year didn’t disappoint.

More on that to come.

Onwards…

The post The Innovation Experiment: Year 4. appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
889
Can you test if you have a great idea in 24 hours for $0? Try Google’s Pretotyping approach. http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/google-pretotyping-ideas/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:22:40 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/test-if-you-have-a-great-idea-in-24-hours-for-0-try-googles-pretotyping-approach/ Developed at Google, perfected at Stanford and now being taught and practiced worldwide. The concept of Pretotyping was originally developed by Alberto Savoia in 2009 while he was working at Google as Engineering Director and Innovation Agitator. Since then, pretotyping has been spreading quickly and globally: Alberto’s book ‘Pretotype It’ has already been translated into several languages, and classes on ...

The post Can you test if you have a great idea in 24 hours for $0? Try Google’s Pretotyping approach. appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
Developed at Google, perfected at Stanford and now being taught and practiced worldwide.

The concept of Pretotyping was originally developed by Alberto Savoia in 2009 while he was working at Google as Engineering Director and Innovation Agitator. Since then, pretotyping has been spreading quickly and globally: Alberto’s book ‘Pretotype It’ has already been translated into several languages, and classes on pretotyping are taught at Stanford and other universities throughout the world.

A practitioners view

In January 2016 I was lucky enough to spend a day at Stanford with Alberto to learn the pretotyping method first-hand. The simple logic of the approach and distilled learning from Alberto’s many years perfecting it at Google resonated strongly with me.

Pretotyping Course at Stanford, January 2016

We immediately implemented it back at work when I arrived. As head of the innovation team, my job was to quickly sift through the abundance of ideas to decide where we should focus our experimentation and innovation efforts. Pretotyping is the tool to do this.

The challenge we set with every new idea we evaluated is

How can we test if this is the right idea in 24 hours for zero dollars?

Clearly, this is not possible, but it helps to frame the thinking around not defaulting to building stuff immediately. Using the simple pretotyping methods we were able to quickly and cheaply eliminate or pursue the right ideas. After hundreds of pretotypes, the average investment per pretotype is around two weeks and a few thousand dollars. The alternative is to throw darts at a board, trust your gut and spend months and tens of thousands of dollars to hope you have the right idea. Pretotyping removes most of this uncertainty.

Two years later I have taught pretotyping to over 600 people, and it’s a commonly understood approach in the business. HR, Customer Operations, Finance, and the engineering teams use pretotyping on a regular basis.

On a recent visit to Mountain View, California, I met with Alberto to understand the latest techniques he has refined after a year teaching pretotyping at Stanford University. Pretotyping has been refined and is now an excellent framework to rapidly validate or invalidate ideas.

About Pretotyping

May you always find The Right It, in your life as well as in your work!

Alberto Savoia

Not convinced? Get your free ‘Pretotype It’ eBook now to make sure you’re building the right it before building it right.

The post Can you test if you have a great idea in 24 hours for $0? Try Google’s Pretotyping approach. appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
888
Gorilla Arms will make you stop using the iPad Pro http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/gorilla-arms-will-make-you-stop-using-the-ipad-pro/ Sun, 30 Jul 2017 08:00:04 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/gorilla-arms-will-make-you-stop-using-the-ipad-pro/ Image Source: http://bit.ly/2uKqoEN 5 reasons why you may use the iPad Pro less. One year ago I wrote about moving from the Macbook Air to the iPad Pro. Thanks, Brendan Duong for asking how it’s going one year later. All the apps I mentioned in the initial article are high quality and work well, but I have to make special ...

The post Gorilla Arms will make you stop using the iPad Pro appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2uKqoEN

5 reasons why you may use the iPad Pro less. One year ago I wrote about moving from the Macbook Air to the iPad Pro.

https://insideinnovation.co/how-i-moved-from-mac-air-to-ipad-pro-for-work-and-home-8f2aff7b36de

Thanks, Brendan Duong for asking how it’s going one year later.

All the apps I mentioned in the initial article are high quality and work well, but I have to make special mention of Microsoft Outlook — who decided that restricting pasting content out of Outlook makes any sense at any level? “Security”, you say? Easy to get around — email it to Evernote or your private email account. Silly and incredibly annoying. Treating Microsoft Office apps as a walled garden defeats the purpose of working on a highly mobile and integrated device.

Another standout is Dropbox. The integration is excellent and serves as the glue binding many of the apps together.

On reflection, I’m probably using the iPad around 30% of the time if I average it out. 100% when I travel.

The reasons are:

  • x Gorilla Shoulder is a thing. A few hours use and shoulder pain is an issue, which compounds over a few days. Reaching out and touching a screen in front of you is not a natural motion. An iPad with a mouse would solve this.
  • Creating content is painful. A simple blog needs lots of task switching compared to dragging stuff around on the laptop. Spreadsheets are unworkable.
  • I love Dashlane for passwords, and it works with the iPad, but it’s still clunky.
  • It’s faster for my working style to copy and drag between few windows.
  • I’m testing iOS11 Beta, and some of these issues will be solved, but the show-stopper is the Gorilla Shoulder.

I’m going to do the opposite experiment for a month. Use the laptop exclusively and see if I miss the iPad. I love it for travel and meetings for note taking so I’ll miss that. Also, it’s super light and manageable, so it’s always handy.

Steven Sinofsky and Benedict Evans I know you’re heavy users of the iPad. What’s your experience after one year?

The post Gorilla Arms will make you stop using the iPad Pro appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
554
Secret Experiments http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/secret-experiments/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 05:38:39 +0000 https://lesliebarry.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/secret-experiments/ The best way to learn is to do. Or, show, don’t tell. Here’s some things I’m playing with. Facebook Messenger Bot Beat Elon Musk to Mars. Facebook Messenger bot to learn about chatbot Engagement. Click to try -> Ride the Dragon Rocket. Connector Messenger Bot Slidestorm Messenger Bot

The post Secret Experiments appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
The best way to learn is to do. Or, show, don’t tell.

Here’s some things I’m playing with.

Facebook Messenger Bot


Beat Elon Musk to Mars. Facebook Messenger bot to learn about chatbot Engagement.

Click to try -> Ride the Dragon Rocket.


Connector Messenger Bot



Slidestorm Messenger Bot


The post Secret Experiments appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
887
Guy Kawasaki’s best advice : Who the F are you guys? http://exponentiali.com/startup/guy-kawasakis-best-advice-who-the-f-are-you-guys/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 01:35:20 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/guy-kawasakis-best-advice-who-the-f-are-you-guys/ It’s May 2013, and I’m in San Francisco with Dougal Edwards, my co-founder. We’re a year into building GetViable, a platform that helps startup founders go from idea to product-market fit. We’re pitching investors, networking and learning like crazy. On a Tuesday morning, I reach out to a VC friend of mine and ask him if he knows Guy Kawasaki. ...

The post Guy Kawasaki’s best advice : Who the F are you guys? appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
It’s May 2013, and I’m in San Francisco with Dougal Edwards, my co-founder.

We’re a year into building GetViable, a platform that helps startup founders go from idea to product-market fit.

We’re pitching investors, networking and learning like crazy. On a Tuesday morning, I reach out to a VC friend of mine and ask him if he knows Guy Kawasaki.

I wanted to meet Guy and see if we could get him on board.

The first thing the next morning we get a short email from Guy, agreeing to meet the next day in Menlo Park as he had an hour to spare over lunch on the way to the airport.

We’re excited and terrified.

What are we going to ask for? Would he get it? Are we punching above our weight?

We’d had a lukewarm response on the trip so far as our proposition was complicated: Build a platform to gather data that gives a leading indicator of which startups are more likely to make it to a seed round and then use that data to position ourselves for crowdfunding for startups.

Three years too early. But we didn’t know it then. Clearly, the VC’s did.

We go over our pitch again and again and head down to Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park.

Guy is friendly, engaging and very candid. We pitch our product and ask for feedback, and after some thought, Guy looks at us and says:

“You guys have one big problem — who the F are you?”

…and he’s absolutely right.

He’s not being an asshole.

What he’s saying is that we need credibility, a track record, runs on the board and referenceability to build trust.

GetViable traded on trust that we were capable of helping early-stage founders and trust from investors that we could do this. We promptly asked if he would join our advisory board to help with this.

He politely declined (surprise) and said that Google was keeping him pretty busy. He did give us free access to include his excellent ten slides on pitching to investors which we incorporated into the product.

This one insight completely changed our approach to the business. We didn’t pivot completely but started paying careful attention to the small details that build trust. And it worked. BigColors acquired GetViable in October 2013.

Thank you, Guy, for the time and the excellent advice.

This is a fine example of someone who subscribes to the approach of “Give because you received, not give so you can get”.

Guy had zero incentive to take an hour of his time to meet with two guys from Australia with a tiny startup.

This is the second lesson I took from this meeting, and I believe it has made me a better mentor and advisor as I continue to work with startups today.

So have a think about your startup and figure out — Who the F are you?

The post Guy Kawasaki’s best advice : Who the F are you guys? appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
886
Clarify your Purpose & Focus: 3 Books http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/clarify-your-purpose-focus-3-books/ Tue, 13 Jun 2017 15:56:02 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/clarify-your-purpose-focus-3-books/ If you’re looking to clarify your Purpose & Focus, I suggest reading these 3 books in this order. Deep Work, The One Thing and Essentialism. Over the next few days, I’m listing the top three books I’ve read that have educated and impacted me across many areas of my life. I suggest reading them in the order below to get ...

The post Clarify your Purpose & Focus: 3 Books appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>


If you’re looking to clarify your Purpose & Focus, I suggest reading these 3 books in this order. Deep Work, The One Thing and Essentialism.

Over the next few days, I’m listing the top three books I’ve read that have educated and impacted me across many areas of my life. I suggest reading them in the order below to get the most benefit.

Coming up are:

  • Habits
  • Starting your Startup
  • Venture Capital
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human History and the Future
  • Science Fiction
  • Thinking Exponentially

Let’s start with Purpose and Focus.

Purpose and Focus

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

Many modern knowledge workers now spend most of their brain power battling distraction and interruption, whether because of the incessant pinging of devices, noisy open-plan offices or the difficulty of deciding what deserves your attention the most.

Most of us, after all, are excruciatingly familiar with shallow work instead — distractedly skimming the surface of our workload and never getting to the important part. Newport began exploring the methods and mindset that foster a practice of distraction-free productivity at work, and now, in DEEP WORK, he shows how anyone can achieve this elusive state.

I started with Deep Work to understand how to regain focus in my distracting world of technology, bright shiny things and people. I have come to value long blocks of time to think and then do vs reacting to the busyness trap.

Once I had more time, which this discipline creates , I started wondering what I’m doing and if what I’m busy with is valuable to me and those around me.

The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results

The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results by Gary Keller

YOU WANT LESS.

You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller pay cheques, fewer promotions-and lots of stress.

AND YOU WANT MORE.

You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.

NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH-LESS AND MORE.

After reading this book I spent two days working through my One Thing. It’s hard to really drill down into what you really want to achieve and the impact you would like to make on the world. This is one of those books that you need to action, not only read. I did and it’s kept me really focused over the last 6 months.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload? Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilized? Do you ever feel busy but not productive? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an Essentialist.

This book helped me refocus on doing Less, but Better. I find it too easy to get busy with lots of good opportunities which takes my focus away from the great ones. It’s about choosing what I do each day versus someone else choosing for me.

Coming up next are the top 3 books on Habits.

The post Clarify your Purpose & Focus: 3 Books appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
885
Hippo’s, Pirates and Happy Customers http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/hippos-pirates-and-happy-customers/ Mon, 15 May 2017 04:37:48 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/hippos-pirates-and-happy-customers/ This Hippo led to my first potential fireable innovation moment. [Place one hippo on the desk in front of each of the Executive Team] “I do not care who you are, how much or little experience you have, what you have seen work before, what your gut or intuition tell you, what you think and especially not what you feel. ...

The post Hippo’s, Pirates and Happy Customers appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>

This Hippo led to my first potential fireable innovation moment.

[Place one hippo on the desk in front of each of the Executive Team]

“I do not care who you are, how much or little experience you have, what you have seen work before, what your gut or intuition tell you, what you think and especially not what you feel. I only care about data.”

My risky opening statement to the leadership team set the stage for delivering aggressive innovation, and with it, disruptive results.

I wanted to make the point that a powerful way to sift through hundreds of ideas and experiment with the best ones was to focus on data and only data. Not anyone’s opinion, but facts.

After a few uncomfortable glances around the room, with my point made, they had a good snigger, and I am still here.

Why the Hippo?

The HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion is not what matters. The data you get back from customers matters. 
Data proves that the problem you are trying to solve exists.

Data proves which of the many innovative solutions you test with customers are 10x better than the way they currently solve the problem. If your solution is not significantly better, the customer has zero incentive to switch to your product or service.

I have handed out over a hundred of these Hippo’s over the last 18 months. They are a powerful symbol of a relentless focus on the customer, and using this customer data to make informed decisions.

All Ideas Are Worth One Million Dollars

This is how much we save every time we do not pursue an idea. When you take the HIPPO approach, ideas are attempted based on influence, energy, salesmanship or political will. Using data mostly negates these tendencies.

Ignoring the HIPPO

An example is an idea I pursued to solve the naming problem for websites and startups. At the time we were helping founders turn their ideas into MVP’s, and every founder spent way too much time looking for the perfect name for their startup. 
There was a problem. How do I find a good name that’s no longer than five letters with a .com domain that is available? 
We rushed off and built a beautiful site that would ask your close circle of friends via Facebook messenger for name suggestions with a shared bounty as a prize. It had virality, an existing network and gamified rewards built right in.

We forgot one important step: Asking ourselves “what is the smallest possible version of this we can do that costs little to validate our solution.” We also forgot to measure the customer action vs. their intent. We were the HIPPO!

This idea failed because customer’s friends did not want to be paid for ideas or ‘spammed’ in Facebook messenger. If we had gone with a data-first approach, we would have manually sent messages to a sample of our customers or own friends and measured the results. We could have saved thousands of dollars and got the answer in 2 weeks. 
Data first.

What to measure?

My answer to this question at the early stage of an idea is always the same. Use Dave McClure’s Pirate Metrics.

There are very few ideas that cannot be validated or improved by these metrics. The secret is:

  • Find the OMTM (One Metric That Matters) that is a clear leading indicator of each stage of the funnel.
  • Measure week on week GROWTH for each cohort of users.

At this early stage, absolute numbers do not matter much. What is important is the relationship between A,A,R,R,R, and the growth rate for each metric. This allows you to make rational decisions based on data (facts not feelings or bias) and improve what’s not working or amplify what’s working.

Embracing the PIRATE

An example of data driving the next phase decision is a Facebook Messenger bot. We built the basic bot with minimum functionality to test how customers would engage.

These are the metrics we used:

Acquire — Clicks on the bot

Activate — Start conversation with the bot

Retain — Complete conversation with the bot

Revenue — Call To Action (subscribe or leave email)

Refer — Share

The Pirate Metrics quickly revealed what works and what does not.

What about the Bean Counters?

People trust data. If the data coming back shows no growth week on week, and we are indeed acting on that data and killing ideas which are bad, there’s a level of comfort with people and areas of the business that are looking for those numbers.

This focus on data and week on week growth gives the business a sense of trust in the process, provided these numbers are used for clear decision making.

During this validation phase, you need to stay commercially aware, run as lean as you can and spend the least amount of money possible. Resist having a commercial conversation too early as you will kill potential outlier ideas that have some upside.

HIPPO or PIRATE?

I have used this approach working with hundreds of startups and corporate ideas in innovation teams, and it always delivers. Try the HIPPO’s and PIRATE’s — you may be surprised at the results.

Do you choose ideas based on what the HIPPO thinks and feels or on customer data?

The post Hippo’s, Pirates and Happy Customers appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
884
SXSW < CES http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/sxsw-ces/ Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:01:01 +0000 https://lesliebarry.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/sxsw-ces/ Credit: Google Jigsaw’s Yasmin Green’s SXSW keynote After a week at SXSW Interactive 2017, it’s my first and last. SXSW seems like the place to be seen rather than be educated and inspired. Parties are awesome, music is fantastic, and movies are movies so I’m sure it’s a fun break as a music festival, but I experienced SXSW as a huge self-promotional event ...

The post SXSW < CES appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>

Credit: Google Jigsaw’s Yasmin Green’s SXSW keynote

After a week at SXSW Interactive 2017, it’s my first and last. 
SXSW seems like the place to be seen rather than be educated and inspired. 
Parties are awesome, music is fantastic, and movies are movies so I’m sure it’s a fun break as a music festival, but

I experienced SXSW as a huge self-promotional event to be seen at vs. a platform for inspiring and learning.

My focus is on technology, startups, and innovation, and I travel to educate myself, do business and build relationships.

Don’t get me wrong, SXSW was fun, and fun is good, but I found the focus of the events and sessions I attended light on content and heavy on famous personalities.


It was interesting to see Tim Ferriss, Chris Sacca, Buzz Aldrin, Mark Cuban and other influential people, but for the same money and time investment, CES is the winner hands down.

The best value of the week


  • Kimball Musk is impressive in his quest to bring real food to the mass market at a close-to-fast-food price point. He discussed the strategy, execution and challenge. I hope he succeeds.
  • The Andreessen Horowitz event where I met nine amazing people in 2 hours and have some good, actionable outcomes. This is A-level hustling in a shark tank filled with pros. An awesome experience.

Up there with a16z was Stephen Wolfram demo’ing the Wolfram language to make AI accessible to more people. This was really impressive training a quick AI on stage in realtime. Brave!

The Queues

The queues are painful. What’s the point of paying a few thousand dollars for a ticket when you have to wait for hours to see anyone, while missing the opportunity to see someone else speak. I know ‘that’s how it is at SXSW’, but its not ok. I’d rather pay more and get into what I’d like to attend.

The CES difference

CES is different. Loads of quality deep dives by experts doing the doing with insight into the future vs companies pimping their wares at SXSW. As an example, at the last CES, we arrived before the exhibition and attended some quality discussions on the future of Voice by the Amazon Echo team and the CEO of Fitbit discussing the wearables landscape in detail.

If you’re a technology company looking to the future, or an entrepreneur building the next big thing, I‘d spend my money on CES over SXSW to get the most value for your investment.

The post SXSW < CES appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
883
Improve mind, body and energy levels using MEXS http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/improve-mind-body-and-energy-levels-using-mexs/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 20:59:54 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/improve-mind-body-and-energy-levels-using-mexs/ There’s a lot of information out there about great life habits, morning and daily routines of high performing people and optimising your life. I’ve distilled what works for me down to a simple acronym to keep me on track. I call it MEXS. Late last year, I found myself in a phase of reading many books on habits, like Tools ...

The post Improve mind, body and energy levels using MEXS appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>


There’s a lot of information out there about great life habits, morning and daily routines of high performing people and optimising your life. I’ve distilled what works for me down to a simple acronym to keep me on track. I call it MEXS.

Late last year, I found myself in a phase of reading many books on habits, like Tools of Titans, where Tim Ferris captures and distils habits and routines of some very successful people that he’s interviewed on the Tim Ferris Show. I’ve also read Deep Work, Do the Work, The Effective Executive, The One Thing, The Hard Thing about Hard Things, Mastery, ReWork, The Shallows, So Good they can’t Ignore You, The Sublte art of not giving a F*ck and Zero to one. (Book links are here if you’re interested)

These all relate to changing behaviour and optimising output to some extent.

Too Much Information

All this habit information can get overwhelming, much like all the diet and leadership advice out there that often sends conflicting signals.

To keep it simple and actionable, MEXS keeps me focused each day on what’s important to keep my mind, body, and energy levels in good shape.

Let’s break it down.

M is for Meditate. I meditate every day as soon as I wake up. This is a simple 10-minute meditation, and I use the Headspace app for this. I’ve tried other times of the day, but my chattering head-monkey makes it hard to focus. My head is clearest as soon as I wake up, so this works for me.

E is for Eat. My objective is to stay healthy, not win a body contest, so this helps me make (mostly) good choices when I eat. I eat a healthy breakfast, an ok lunch, and healthy dinner. Of course I eat burgers, etc. sometimes but as long as I’m choosing consciously I get this right 5 out of seven days. Good enough for me.

X is for exercise. I head off to the gym directly after the Meditation. Once again, the best time of day for me, as I get it done before the day starts. The morning is the only part of my day I can actually control, as much as I like to think otherwise. Theres’ simply too many moving parts later in the day. The added benefit of this is that it helps me self-regulate when I’m out in the evenings for an event as I know I have to get up for Gym.

S is for sleep. Without a good night’s sleep, all the above is meaningless. I aim for at least 8 hours sleep a night and have been getting this much for the last few years. I’m focused and productive during the day. Quality output is more important than busyness and seeing sleep deprivation as some badge of honor.

I’ve used MEXS for the past 6 months, and it’s been a great way to stay on track.

What works for you?

https://upscri.be/e4c0f2

The post Improve mind, body and energy levels using MEXS appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
882
Why I’m paying for medium http://exponentiali.com/exponential-innovation/why-im-paying-for-medium/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:48:26 +0000 http://exponentiali.com/uncategorized/why-im-paying-for-medium/ I’ve been blogging for many years, starting with Blogger, then WordPress, then Posterous, then WordPress, then Squarespace, then WordPress, then Medium with a custom domain. What I’ve learned is that the trade-off between getting hacked and endless plugins, maintenance and updates (looking at you self-hosted WordPress), and flexibility, ease of writing and distribution is worth paying for. Medium has taken ...

The post Why I’m paying for medium appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>


I’ve been blogging for many years, starting with Blogger, then WordPress, then Posterous, then WordPress, then Squarespace, then WordPress, then Medium with a custom domain.

What I’ve learned is that the trade-off between getting hacked and endless plugins, maintenance and updates (looking at you self-hosted WordPress), and flexibility, ease of writing and distribution is worth paying for.

Medium has taken away all those irritations. I don’t need to stuff around with hundreds of plugins or get frustrated with the limitations of Squarespace.

With Medium I sign up, I create a publication, I write and I publish. I haven’t once thought about which plugin I need since signing up over a year ago.
The fact that this seems so easy and trivial is the Magic and worth $7.49 AUD a month.

As Mark Twain wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Medium has taken the time to write the short letter with a quality, seamless experience.

My time is worth more than $7.49 a month.

https://upscri.be/e4c0f2

The post Why I’m paying for medium appeared first on Exponential Innovation.

]]>
881