New Year Time

Day 1 Week 1 Q1  Sunday, January 1, 2023

Today is the first day of 2023; the year SVIII finally goes International. This lengthy process began in 2011 and 2012 when I gave presentations and participated in panels in China at Tsinghua and Shenzhen Universities and at HKUST, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. And in Beijing to celebrate the establishment of a Global Innovation Center at CNPC, where I cut the ribbon at the openings of a few new innovation centers getting me extremely briefly on Chinese Television. There was no sustainable business model to support these innovation activities, but now the combination of the international pandemic driving forward the global virtualization of business it has become possible.

At the time, it seemed like the world wanted to replicate the miracle of Silicon Valley everywhere. The abundance model which permeated the psyche of the Valley was so attractive as to make SV seem like Florence during the Renaissance. Talented people, ideas, and capital were pouring in from all over the world.  SVII, previously regional in Silicon Valley, was gaining some national attention at the same time as we were attempting to go international by creating another group, the Global Innovation Integrators.

There was a lot of interaction with professional organizations like the IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, billed as the world’s largest international group of professional innovators, with DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Air Force. A good deal of keynote speaking and panel discussion presentations in academia and industry consumed a lot of time and energy, including many presentations to executive MBA programs where innovation had become the rage.

Everyone wanted to innovate.  Everyone wanted a formula or an algorithmic approach to increasing innovation even though there were no meaningful agreed-upon units to measure what was essentially a qualitative, not quantitative, process. Contrary to popular belief and what scholars like to say, innovation is not about quantity. It is about quality. Sure it can produce quantitive benefits like profits due to sales increases, but that is not the definition of innovation. Innovation is simply applied insight. 

Innovation requires an innovation culture to support it. Places where ideation and manifestation are supported instead of being best down. It comes more from a creative frame of mind than from accounting. Accounting is essential, but just like music theory, it comes after the performance.  You do not perform or compose or innovate based on theory.  Theory and analysis are not nearly fast enough to create from, but they are critical for evaluation.

In any case, SVII is now beginning SVIII, where the third I is for international because it finally fiscally makes sense. Now we are putting the finishing touches on the means to export the safe place to show up, the support and the guidance necessary to help creative outliers all over the world become innovators. 

Stay tuned. This is going to be a big year.