Creating a culture of creativity

In a Fast Company article, the founder of KAYAK, Paul English talks about he created a culture of creativity in his company:

Creativity is a constant stream of new–new ideas, new solutions, new product, new processes. I love to surround myself with childlike creative people, leaving the brilliant doubters and naysayers to work for my competitors.

Everything we do encourages fast decision-making and risk-taking. We don’t do design by committee, and we disable large meetings here. We reward risk-taking and speed, even when it fails!

Don’t do indoctrination, where you pummel each employee to think like the Borg. … Encourage your employees to be individuals, and get them to try new things.

Watch the ex-Facebook entrepreneurs’ next moves

It’s going to be interesting watching the next moves of a batch of 20-somethings who have left Facebook, and are now onto other projects. They know what works, and have lots of cash, or soon will, so what next? The LA Times article about them has thought-provoking things to say:

Innovation, researchers have found, is an inherently social act, owing as much to these tightknit networks as the garage tinkering of individual entrepreneurs.

“The basic unit of innovation in Silicon Valley is the team,” Silicon Valley futurist Paul Saffo said. “Innovation is an irrational act, and the only way to get through that irrationality is to surround yourself with other people as crazy and obsessed with changing the world as you are.”

Like others in the Facebook network, D’Angelo and Cheever seem to read each other’s thoughts and finish each other’s sentences. The depth of these friendships is unusual even in Silicon Valley. These Facebook pals don’t just call on one another for money and advice, start companies together and sit on each other’s boards. They also hook up to celebrate life’s big moments.

Iterate Iterate Iterate

The article on Iteration. It argues that iteration can be either rotating around a cycle using previously known information, which is a “Knowledge Loop”. That is stable, because is is built on known ideas. The other loop is an “Insight Loop”, where, with each iteration new ideas are pursued, and there can be innovation. We tend to get stuck in one or the other loops, but if we are aware of that, then maybe we can choose to shift to the other loop if that’s the best for te given situation. We can be more innovation by choosing to test new ideas and try new things, rather than jumping to the known solution or the predictable.


Lack Of Food Copyright Helps Restaurant Innovation Thrive | Techdirt

Pretty much everywhere we look, when we find industries or fields where copyright doesn’t exist or isn’t relied upon, we see the same thing: much higher levels of competition, more and faster innovation and an overall thriving industry. This is the kind of actual evidence that never seems to be discussed in debates over strengthening copyright laws, but should be.