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Innovation Means Taking Risks

Posted by Media Relations on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006 - Comments »

The keynote speaker at Pubcon yesterday was Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who spoke on”The Art of Innovation.” Kawasaki is a blogger and understands the lure of the Top 10 list, and proceeded to present a clear 10 steps to innovation.

Kawasaki made a valid point when he said “Part of being an innovator is being in denial”. A true innovator cannot listen to voices of opposition. History has shown that the most influential of inventions were opposed by non-believers. Most ground breaking inventions are fiercely opposed before they are ever accepted.

In 1977, Ken Olson, the Founder of Digital Equipment Corp said, “there is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.” Less than 30 years later, there is at least one computer in the majority of households.

Kawasaki himself told a personal story about his indecision years ago of whether to meet with a group of individuals starting a new business. “It’s too far to drive and I don’t see how it can be a business.” That company was Yahoo.

The point is this, some times you have to take risks to be successful. If you really believe in your product or service (and you really should!), it is worth taking a risk. You don’t become an innovator by playing it safe.

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