"Innovation." It's a word routinely used across most industries today. In fact, some may say it's been over-used in recent years, perhaps because its definition has tended toward bleeding-edge technology versus simple, mindful changes that can be significant. Whatever the case, co-hosts Brian Comerford & Nick Lozano hash-out their own definitions of "innovation," inclusive of myriad examples, influencers, resources, and even discussion around a popular classification of 4 categories of innovation types. If you find yourself saddled with the word "innovation" in your title or job description, or even if you're just looking for some outside perspective on what it can mean, this may be an episode worth tuning in to.
Nick Lozano 0:00
What's going on? Brian, it is right before Thanksgiving. Again, it's just me and you, John is still on vacation. But we're looking forward to his him joining us again here in a couple episodes. But today we talked about innovation, everybody's favorite word.
Brian Comerford 0:17
That's right. And we covered a lot of territory, as we often do, you know, really kind of talking about the definitions of it, we got into exploring some examples of what are commonly classified as the four categories or four types of innovation. And then we got into some additional context exploring some of those key innovators globally, that have been influential to us or have been influential to the world at large. And we had some interesting insights and tidbits along the way, as well as some examples of some great books are other resources that you might want to check out if innovations kind of your thing.
Nick Lozano 1:00
Yeah, I would agree. And we kind of went all over the place with this. Don't just think it's us talking about, like the newest technology or blockchain even though we have blockchain. So don't don't think it's a conversation just about that. So that looks slick. Everyone get on with the show. Let's do it.
Brian Comerford 1:25
Thanks for joining us for another edition of lead dot exe. I'm Brian comer Ford in Denver, Colorado.
Nick Lozano 1:31
And I'm Nick Lozano. And Alexandria, Virginia.
Brian Comerford 1:35
Changing it up again. I love it.
Nick Lozano 1:38
I got to do it the last episode, so I, you know, I just gotta roll with it. Right.
Brian Comerford 1:43
Fair enough. Fair enough. They're approximate locations. So, you know, Nick, any program that carries technology, as one of the facets of its topics, at some point has to explore the theme of innovation. It's just just about the biggest buzz term that I think we tend to hear, as technologists, would you agree?
Nick Lozano 2:09
I would totally agree. Right. And especially and we've talked about this before, since technologies kind of really been consumerized. When people think of innovation, now they think of Google and what's Apple two, and what's Amazon doing, when that's, you know, not always necessarily the case, you don't have to be one of those huge big players to do something innovative. It can be something as simple as maybe you do a new onboarding process where you onboard your employees, and you get this whole formal process. Innovation can be something as simple as that it doesn't have to be creating the next whiz bang, no SQL, whatever you can think of database, you know, things opportunities for innovation are there, and you just don't have to be one of the big tech players.
Brian Comerford 2:59
Yeah, I think of innovation sort of in the same way that I think of something like CX right, client experience. Some of the best enhancements around CX, very similar to some of the best enhancements in innovation come from making very simple but dramatic changes, right. So, for example, I think about the years that I've spent working in the commercial insurance industry, this is a very paper intensive industry, in a one that's all about policies and contracts, and lots of things that have historically always been, you know, paper based. And so you print all that stuff out, you package it yet, but you know, shipping, postage on it, you send it physically somewhere. And, you know, I think a major innovation that came for that industry was just the idea of moving not only to electronic documents, like PDFs, but actually then servicing all of that data through a portal where then everything is 100% electronic, you cut down on the, the paper wastes, he cut down on all these additional expenses, all this all this time that's spent printing and binding and mailing and the time it takes to ship things, you know, so increased, you know, tenfold in terms of efficiency and, and savings. But it really wasn't, you know, this great leap forward in terms of, you know, transforming how the business operated. It did transform, a very simple touch point within that client experience. That is one, you know, kind of analogous to online banking. before it existed. No one really knew that they needed it. Once it existed, no one would ever do it the other way again, right.
Nick Lozano 4:54
Thank you right now, online banking is really one of those things we can think of Recently, maybe when you think of Gen Z years to them, that's just banking, right? Just like a digital camera is just a camera to them, they don't they don't remember the, you know, the film days and don't remember going to the bank because you have to deposit your check. And I remember I remember deposit limits on your bank, right, you used to be able to go to like ATM, and you could do a deposit through there. But it had a limit of like X dollars that you could deposit. But I agree with you at the bank. And things are a really good example, when you think of, really the late 90s. When that started coming on, people were deathly terrified of banking online, it was like, oh, whoa, I'm not putting my credit card. In this. And you think of today, I you know, if I can't pay with my credit card somewhere or debit card, like, I don't even want to mess with it. I don't know how you feel about that. But it's little things like that, that innovations were things start small. And then they have this snowball effect to where it can affect culture as a whole. And like we were saying earlier, you don't have to start with some big grand scheme vision to get there. Your example of the commercial insurance space is was heavily paper based, right? Let's just switch to making it PDFs. Can we start there? Can we start small, and work our way to something and think about the client experience, customer experience? You know, whoever you service, it's a customer or clients, you know, an employee or whatever, if you just think about that experience from that perspective, a lot of times you can find innovative things to do when you put yourself in the shoes of of your client or your customer or your end user.
Brian Comerford 6:46
Yeah, I think all that's absolutely true. You know, and something we don't do very often Nick is solicit feedback from our listenership. But for this episode, in particular, I think it would be interesting if folks would drop into the comments, wherever they're sourcing this podcasts, some of the things that they believe, might actually contribute as innovations to their own particular lines of business.
Nick Lozano 7:12
Yeah, that's a great example. I feel like that'd be good to have for a live stream, right? Because then we could see the comments and real time, so maybe, maybe we'll plan that for a live stream too. After after the new year, yeah, when most of So like most of our listener base is in the United States and recording this close to Thanksgiving. And, you know, the holidays in December, and a lot of the business world in the US kind of shuts down. This times, I don't know how it is for for you, Brian, but But around here in DC, you know, the city gets quiet. And things just seem to kind of slow down as people are spending times with with their families. But as you are saying, I completely agree that, you know, soliciting feedback, it's one of those great ways to get ideas for innovation. And especially feedback from frontline workers, right? People who are have boots on the ground, who are interacting with your clients or your customers full time, I think a lot of times when organizations are looking for innovations, a lot of times they they reach out to management and middle management. And it never makes its way all the way down to the bottom.
Brian Comerford 8:27
That's true. And I think very commonly, the inner the inverse is also true, you see some of the greatest innovations come from those frontline workers, that tends to be, you know, where the ideas start cooking, you know, in terms of if only this could happen this other way. Everything would be so much better. And and so, you know, I mean, from a basic definition of innovation, you know, I think that that's a good way to qualify it, right? It's it's a new method or a new product, it's something that results in improving whatever, you know, currently exists or introducing something that didn't exist before. Where there's a need, but the need isn't necessarily recognized. Do you agree with that? The definition? Are there other things that you would add into that?
Nick Lozano 9:19
No, I agree. And I think you hit all the points that I would say to you. It doesn't have to be something new, right? We just talked about earlier. Like you don't have to re invent something to have something innovative. could be as simple as a frontline worker saying, Hey, you give these people too much paper, they throw it all in the garbage can. Why are we printing paper? Let's lay right there that could be an innovative thing and save the company. Millions of dollars if your organization is based on just printing paper and giving it to people and then throwing it in the garbage.
Brian Comerford 9:52
Yeah, save saving time saving energy saving, saving money, right, reducing expenses. reducing waste, any of those things I think can can help contribute to what gets qualified as an innovative idea. You know, so that when it comes to, I'll go ahead.
Nick Lozano 10:14
No, and I just wanted to bring up a point. Because when we're talking about innovation, it reminds me of remember, we had Peter Peter margaritas on I think the first time. And he was talking about fostering ideas from people in game together in a room and he's like, hey, you know, I, you, we don't want any safe ideas here, you know, throw up the craziest idea you have, we're not gonna worry about how it gets done, or how it's accomplished. But it's just that going through that thought process of throwing an idea out there to see if you can find something to work with. And I think you you made the comment. When he said that to about Seth Godin. Remember, I think you said, what is it like? Safe is risky, risky, safe, safe? Yeah. So and when you were saying all that, it just reminded me of when we had a conversation with them, and he's like, hey, you know, I just want, you know, the craziest ideas you can give me out here so that we can start, you know, fostering this creativity process?
Brian Comerford 11:17
Yeah, I'm glad that you brought that up it because it is a process, you know, the, I think, you know, ideas only exist in community, right. So once you start the process of ideation, and you solicit feedback, and you start through sharing, and then that collaboration can continue to refine it, until you really reach something where all the considerations have been, you know, kind of turned over in the process of, of looking at what that change could bring. You know, it as we've been talking about this, it, it occurred to me that, in my own years of actually having innovation Director of Innovation in my title, there was a framework, you know, that we would use, that included the four types of innovation, we would, we would kind of use it as a filter, by which we would run through some of these ideas. And we kind of covered it through some of our, you know, definitions already. But the four types of innovation in this particular framework that I used to use from a company called ignition, there's sustaining, disruptive, new market, and integrative. And so sustaining, you know, being one of those, keeping the lights on while keeping the customers happy, you know, initiatives. And so I think that kind of correlates to what we were talking about with, you know, moving from purely paper based to electronic, and then you know, electronic delivery, it's, it's still just part of how the business needs to operate, you kind of can't get out from under it. But at least you can improve what the client experience is on the, on the other end of it, you know, by actually simplifying everything, and not giving someone a binder full of paper that is just going to gather dust on their shelf. So then the second one is disruptive, low cost alternative enabled by new technology. So what are some examples that come to mind for you have something that you would qualify as disruptive?
Nick Lozano 13:25
Disruptive, so we always have our classic examples of something that was disruptive that came along. And I'll always give the the Kodak one, right. It's looking at seeing a threat coming, right. So if people aren't familiar, Kodak was like the film company for like most things, movies, cameras, you know, anything if you had to print an image, or photo it was on Kodak film most of the time. And as digital started coming up, they weren't paying attention to it, thinking it was just an each market, that it wasn't going to go anywhere. And by the time they realized that they were in trouble, it was already too late. They had already lost tons of market share. They went far too, too far down the road, and they couldn't recover. And another good example is what BlackBerry to write as us as tech people, a lot of us had BlackBerry's before the iPhone came along. It was the coolest thing in the world, right when you had that full keyboard and a little scroll wheel. And even before that they had the pager. And it's one of those things, right? They were a top market player. And then here comes apple and they're like, Okay, well, you know, we don't have to worry about it too much. We have this big business segment market, the who buy our servers and you know, we're all about security. And then eventually they found out that as technology was being consumerized that those people didn't want blackberries. They wanted to use their iPhones because it was easier to use them than the you know the BlackBerry and trying to navigate with the touch ball So I would say those are two really classic examples of me where things started out small, it looked like a very niche thing. And then it eventually exploded and become became super consumerized. And people got left in the dust.
Brian Comerford 15:16
But, you know, that's interesting, because I also would put the mobile phone, I would personally classify that and the last category around integrative. And so, so integrative is, you know, multiple jobs to be done in one elegant solution. So I think, to your point that the BlackBerry was the first to market to do that. And I think was really forward thinking in the sense that the realization was, we need to bring together a number of these things that are commonly used by the average business person, right, we need mobile access to email, that's the most critical one. And we've talked about this before, but it's often, you know, recognized as the number one most critical business application for any business, right email. It's, it's a conduit that has to be open at all times, right. But number two, then it gave you a couple of these other things. You know, it gave you a simplistic browser, it gave you a way to do simplistic file storage, right? There was, there was a Maps feature in it, right? You know, all these things that were sort of the basis of what became, you know, just what mobile phones are, in general, I think the real disruptive thing that Apple did was it came along. And it provided that in an even more elegant type of approach by adding the touchscreen, but more importantly, by also adding the app exchange so that, you know, now you've got this ability to invite other developers and other creators into your ecosystem that could develop their own utilities. And so then all of a sudden, you see this explosion of things like, you know, well, I don't just need a phone, I need to be able to play this, you know, Angry Birds video game on it, right? Because that's what you do when you swipe on these things.
Nick Lozano 17:18
That are what was the other one that was popular Fruit Ninja, that would that was a popular game
Brian Comerford 17:22
to remember. That's right, Fruit Ninja that I heard. That's one of
Nick Lozano 17:25
those cases where, you know, apples really good at this. And, you know, I'm always a fan of them from a technology perspective. Not a super fan. I don't like every product they release. But one thing that they are really good at, is they tend to not be first in any category that they do. Right? When you think about the iPod that was not the first mp3 player, what was the first one was like a Rovio or something like that. They have a really good mentality of looking at a product and saying, Okay, this, this has the potential to be huge, but it is super complicated to figure out. So let's refine this process it make it as simple as we can, and then release it. And that has worked really well for them over the years. What are are they like a market cap of like $2 trillion, something like that the first trillion dollar company now they're two. And they've really made the living off that iPod that then turned into the iPhone and taking those products and making it simpler, because I think even when Steve Jobs came back, he chopped the number of products that they were producing, right? He's like, hey, if we can't be number one, or number two, in any category, I don't want to make it that could be misremembering this, but I think when I read his book, The Walter Isaacson Isaacson one he had, there was like some quote about that right? When he came in, maybe a listener can correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm thinking of someone else. But that's a great mentality, right? Let's make this as simple as we can, and focus on the things we can control and focus at the one or two things that we can make better. And I don't know how I got there. But here we are.
Brian Comerford 19:08
Now, that's great. You know, it's funny that you bring up the iPod because for this last category in the four types of innovation, new market, right, the definition being modifying existing solutions for new markets, that took me directly to my years in the music industry. And so as an internet radio entrepreneur, I was, you know, on the front end of that wave of everything that happened with digital distribution in the music industry. And it started off, you know, pretty simply enough with the the real player and real producer. And those were, that was you listen to the audio on the web, you know,
Nick Lozano 19:51
when you had to install the Braille player, or else like not the codecs worked or anything. I remember that right.
Brian Comerford 19:57
Yeah, that's right. So And, you know, it was, it was pretty, you know, low resolution at that time. I mean, it was it was like, you know, 16 bit, and then it, you know, continued to improve and everything but you know, what really became sort of the new market transformation, I think, you know, because internet radio was sort of a, it was a slow crawl, you know, forward. And so it didn't, didn't scare the music industry. In fact, I remember sitting in LA, at the record Industry Association of America, their annual conference, and they, they trotted out this annual report, as they always did. And in that report, they, for the first time in 1998, acknowledged that there was going to be digital distribution of music, but here's why they were here to like, put the music industry to rest, because there's no reason to worry about it, we're gonna figure it all out before it has a chance to happen. And it can't happen for several reasons. Number one, broadband wasn't ubiquitous. Number two file sizes for quality music, they're just far too large. And so you put those two things together, people can't get access to quality music. Well, within three months of that report, the mp3 codec was cracked and publicly released. Napster emerged, and all of a sudden, you know, you had all of these different streaming capabilities that were utilizing mp3 versus, you know, real audio or Windows Media that came after it. And that ended up being completely disruptive, you know, from a new market perspective to the established music industry, because now you have, like all these players that are facilitating something in in a much better way, as an existing solution. And not only that, I think it tapped into that new market basis, where you started seeing purchasing habits that were directed in a very different way. You know, the 45, single had always been kind of the the low price point to get into acquiring music. But that kind of, you know, moved away at the advent of the CD. And so it became very difficult for people to just spend a little bit of money, if that's all they had to be able to acquire a song. But once the mp3 codec was released, suddenly, it was very easy to acquire a single song, or only a couple songs from an album in a very individualized kind of way. And that's really where Steve Jobs I think, came and capitalized on it. Because iTunes didn't deliver anything that didn't already exist. At that time, he just was able to leverage consumer rising it in a very elegant way by attaching it to a specific product with the iPod and then creating the iTunes Store to have you know, that fully licensed ecosystem were Napster was sort of the Wild West, you know, illegal equivalent of all that.
Nick Lozano 23:10
Actually like that you bring that example up, and that a Napster is a direct reflection of an industry not listening to its consumers, right. The only reason that piracy happened. We granted some people wanted free music, right? I mean, those people wouldn't have bought it even if the the media companies created Napster, right? If they created that and set it up. Those aren't the people who would buy anyways. But I was a reflection of the ease of access to get that media was super difficult. Like what would she have to do to get a CD before you had to go to you know, a SAM Goody FYE. Like what like name one of the dozen record stores that doesn't exist anymore, where you would go wait in line, and hope that you could get one of the the number of copies that they had that were coming to that store? And it's just, you know, people leveraging the internet deciding that, hey, this is not a solution that's working for anybody. Let's decentralize that and make it so that it's gives access to everybody. And a great example of that now is blockchain right. I'm not huge on the cryptocurrency part of it, but the idea of decentralizing stuff and making access where you don't have to go to one central location to get something to me is where were the great thing that comes out of cryptocurrency out of the cryptocurrency, not necessarily the currency itself, but the decentralization and multiple nodes that are spread out across the globe, where if one node goes down, you can still access something or if you're in Australia, watch, everyone knows if you've been to Australia, they have notoriously slow Internet if you're trying to access anything that is not in Australia, but when you think about it, you got to go across oceans to get anywhere So you're either going satellite or, you know, ocean cable that's buried underground. So it's just one of those things where we see technologies coming. And it's literally just people trying to create solutions to solve their problems.
Brian Comerford 25:18
Yeah, it's interesting that you bring up cryptocurrency. There's a book that I read recently called new money for new world. And it's actually about complementary currencies. And so at the same time that we've got this rise of crypto, and again, I think, you know, from my perspective, jury's kind of out in terms of, you know, what is really needed from that solution? Although, I think we had our our guest, David Campbell from electric coin back on the show, he would probably school us probably explain, you believe it is,
Nick Lozano 25:52
disclaimer, disclaimer, we're not experts in that segment. So that's right. Just my opinions. Yep.
Brian Comerford 25:59
But, you know, I agree that the blockchain, it's something that I think is is critical from a, you know, really from a risk management perspective, and nothing else in terms of, you know, managing fraud and doing it in a very simplified kind of way. So that you have it, you have these things like contracts that are distributed, distributed, so that, you know, you've effectively got an unmanageable, you know, pristine copy of the original intent, you know, I think those things are going to continue to have a lot of influence in the domain where contract languages, you know, particularly needed. But on that on the, you know, topic of complementary currency part, what I think is interesting is, you know, you made the comment about, a lot of these innovations come from individuals trying to solve their needs. Complementary currency is one of those areas where, so in Argentina, for example, it's one of the sort of case studies in this book, where there are complementary currencies that can be provided to people who will do a public service. And so for example, for children, who want to be able to get together enough funding, to be able to help buy some groceries for their families, they can pick up trash, in the neighborhood communities along the sides of the roads. And for, you know, however many pounds of trash or bags of trash, whatever it is that they bring in, then they get a credit through this complementary currency, that complementary currency can be exchanged, just as any ordinary currency could, for other goods and services, because there has been a a decision for the community to participate in this type of network, which is what makes that whole thing possible. That's like there's a, there's an agreement now that there's going to be this transition and to what the value of money, right, how that's how that's assessed. And so what's happening is for some of these communities that are suffering with a lot of poverty, and where there aren't opportunities for more employment, but there still needs for things like public services, suddenly, what you're seeing is this emergence of behavior change within a society that's actually also contributing to uplifting a status of poverty, you know, for those who are most in need. So that to me, I think, is a pretty, you know, revolutionary type of innovation and one that would have wide reaching impact across the globe, when you consider that roughly about 7 billion people on the planet are suffering and poverty, which is a lot. That's, that's a huge majority.
Nick Lozano 29:01
It's all all great points. And the thing I always find funny with cryptocurrency, and maybe somebody can explain this to me is that they're like, It's decentralized money, right? But every time I see its value, it's always pegged at the US dollar. Like, wait, wait, so is this really decentralized? Because if if I need to take cryptocurrency, somewhere, it gets a value based on the US dollar. So to me, is it any different than, like commodity? I don't know. I digress though.
Brian Comerford 29:35
Well, so let's talk a little bit about you know, who are some of the world's greatest innovators? You know, there there are some that I think immediately jumped to mind because they're constantly in the media, especially lately.
Nick Lozano 29:49
Yeah, so So, if I had to take one innovator and I'm going to pick somebody not technology, right I would have to go with Ed Catmull from Pixar. And I've talked about them before, but it's just when you think about the stuff that they achieved at Pixar as a studio. Yeah, they, they did the computer. So first to do like a full animated movie. Computer generated, but what they really did really well was package products was storytelling, and movies that were just bang on. Because before that, Disney used to release right, so, so backstory Toy Story, right, they released that big hit in theaters, the original contract they had with Disney was that then Disney would get the rights to SQL movies, and they would release them home. on home video, right? That was a big thing with Disney. If you had kids or something, you recognize this, you'll see, pull up your Disney plus, and you'll see movies that you didn't even know that they made. And that's because it went home to movie but they had creative control over kind of the product that Disney was gonna make because this was before Disney. And as they were looking at the story for that they were creating for Toy Story too, they decided that they didn't like basically the way the story went. So they took a risk and took back control put a lot of money into making a second movie, which normally for Disney was huge flops. And they put up Toy Story two, and it was a huge success. And basically, they followed their same innovative formula they had for storytelling coming in figuring out how characters behave, and going through their storyboarding, and basically their peer reviews of movies to create something innovative and look at them now. Like how many Toy Story movies are there, there's like four, how many other sequel movies they have, that are based on their other movies. And you can see that kind of living on in the Disney Animation Studios because some of the Pixar people are in charge at the Disney Animation Studios too. So you can see that with newer kids movies, too, like frozen, there's a second frozen, it was just as big as the first one if not bigger. So So I would have to add him in that lump is innovative people and it's probably a different one for for people who listen to this episode or show.
Brian Comerford 32:23
Yeah, well, there's, you know, you and I have talked about just the proliferation of good news that's out there and how easy it is to be optimistic, if that's the choice that you orient your, your perception towards. And so to me, it's fascinating, just, you know, one after another, there are innovations all over the world right now. And the rate of innovation continues to accelerate. You know, Terence McKenna talked about this, when he developed the mathematical algorithm for what he called time wave zero, where he was able to mathematically calculate the algorithm of the doubling of human knowledge, right over over time, from the stone age all the way up through the information age, until he was able to calculate, you know, his his presumption of what the rate would be where the rate of innovation doubled every second, right, and that's what he called time wave zero. That, that correlates also to what Ray Kurzweil has talked about, as the singularity, right, that point at which humans and machines will become so interdependent, that they'll start to become indistinguishable from one another. So, you know, as you look around, and you see all of these different areas of innovation, there's innovation, you know, in every country in the world, and there's, I think, a lot of information to pay attention to, you know, in this domain if, if you choose to. So there's, you know, there's of course, the the big top names that we constantly hear Steve Jobs still has this lasting influence, of course, but, you know, even Bill Gates is having a lot of innovative strides forward with the work that he's been doing with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You know, certainly transforming, you know, health and now is focus on environment, you know, those, those will continue to yield tremendous innovations. And then, of course, someone like Elon Musk, you know, he's innovated in so many different domains already. It's exciting just to see kind of what the next step is, and is spawning additional, you know, emulators. So I think of like rivian Being a competitor now to what Tesla has developed and, and really building on sort of that basic principle of the electric car and extending the you know, those capabilities to now be long range and be able to tow heavy loads that that sort of thing. But then, you know, There's also areas that are often overlooked. So I had to, I had to Google this woman's name real quick, because I couldn't remember what it is. But I had read something in Fortune magazine not too long ago about Sheila Lirio Marcello, and she is the founder of care.com. And, you know, Her story's a pretty interesting one, too, because she was born and raised in the Philippines. But then she was able to get her MBA and doctorate at Harvard. And part of what she saw was that there was this opportunity through a combination of both social media and technology, to be able to easily reach people all over the world who needed more help. And particularly, you know, starting with help around elder care. So part of the concept being that, you know, leveraging the same kinds of mobile capabilities as something like Facebook, have been able to, you know, do for just social interaction, he or she was able to leverage that same kind of thing where a lot of countries, people don't have computers. And they don't necessarily have broadband, but they do have mobile phones, and they've got smartphones that give them some kind of browser based access, or app based access. So, so care.com ended up being something that she was able to create, to help drive caregivers, to those in need, and be able to help create a more competitive marketplace for it. So that now you had people who were, you know, perhaps already certified, you know, nurse aides who, you know, weren't getting paid as much working in natural facility, as they could be, if they were working directly for an individual. And actually, their bio helps, you know, both people, the nurse aide gets a better rate of pay, and the person in need gets a better quality of health care. And it helps create kind of a competitive market space for it as well. But, you know, now it's continued to expand. I
mean, it's been around for about 15 years now. And it is really expanded into a lot of these other domains where, you know, you can find everything from, you know, people who are cleaning your home to, you know, a handyman to any, any of those areas where you might need to pair up, you know, some kind of individualized employment for whatever your personal need is. So I thought it was worth pointing out, you know, one of the women helping to lead innovation globally.
Nick Lozano 37:53
That's a, that's a good add. In I'll add another one who sees tech base that I just saw him recently on tic TOCs. Are you familiar with Justin Khan? I think it's how you say his last name, who was one of the founders of Twitch, he, you know, he he cashed out with Amazon deal, but he had posted something the other day, and he's like, you know, we're starting Justin tv justin.tv, which for those who don't know, the story of Twitch justin.tv was how it started and, and it was initially him a live streaming, just his life, like, it was like him walking around, he had this backpack thing. And then it turned into, you know, people putting things on twitch.or, Justin, TV and kind of morphing into Twitch. And one of the things he was talking about, in one of his videos was they got to a point where they were running on VC money, and they were just losing money. So they were going through their burn rate, and they're like, Okay, we need to start joining, you know, making revenue here. What do we, what can we do? So he gathered everybody in a room, he's like, Okay, I want to put everything on the list, anything and everything that we can do to make money, we're gonna put it down here. So they all sat down in a room, he's like, okay, we can run at, okay, can we run a lot of ads, it's like, so they were literally just throwing things on a wall and testing it to see what they could do to get the business profitable. And he goes on to explain it in about six months time, they went from being at a really high burn rate to actually generate in revenue, and then get into the point where it was twitch. And they figured out a formula to serve the people they saw, who were streaming on there, which is mostly gamers and iterate and tailor the product towards them. So I thought that was just a great example. I didn't know that story totally of how it went from justin.tv to twitch, but I thought it was a really interesting study and he's pretty active on social media. If I see him on LinkedIn now, but he's pretty active on Twitch and Instagram, so you should check them out. If you get a chance. He's also a big you know, Mental Health guy. So he talks a lot about meditation and wellness. So he's he's right up your alley, Brian.
Brian Comerford 40:05
Love it. Yeah, I'll have to explore him a little bit more. Well, I appreciate I appreciate you throwing his name into the ring as well, I'll kind of finish with with one last of my own. And, you know, she's a name that is already, you know, very well known because of her association with Facebook primarily, but Sheryl Sandberg, you know, part of part of why I thought, you know, she was worth bringing up I mean, not only has she had her tenure, both at Google and Facebook, but, you know, she took her wealth and influence, and created the organization, lean in.org that is, you know, really predicated on helping establish, you know, sort of this new front line for executive female leadership, globally, which, you know, again, I, I've heard, you know, sort of counter arguments from, from folks who typically end up being in the male category, who have some resistance to the idea of, you know, well, why do we need more female female leaders? But, you know, again, I think, from the perspective of, you know, having a plurality of views, in any, in solving any issues, right, I mean, that's where the greatest improvements come from. And certainly, as we continue to work together with greater equality, I think that those end up creating values, you know, not only to good companies, but to good societies, and so, so I really respect the work that that she's doing in that domain. Certainly, Melinda Gates has also, you know, had some very similar work that she's been doing as well. But, you know, as, as we start to see, you know, leadership in particular, really be something that is more common across both gender and racial, you know, prior barriers. I think it's the kind of thing where, you know, we'll see more and more innovations that continue to emerge. Because we are looking at things with a variety of perspectives, versus just being in our own, you know, echo chambers of how these things have been done in the past.
Nick Lozano 42:35
That's great, great ahead. I feel like the DNI diversity, equity and inclusion is a big topic right now. And I feel like it's just getting ready to explode. We're just on on the beginning, cusp of this, you know, we definitely needed to bring somebody in to talk about this from a leadership perspective, because I'm not an expert. But I remember reading this great quote from Brene. Brown, it was like, you know, belonging, what is like something is allowing someone to come as who they are, instead of letting them come in, and fit in your culture, that hiring for culture fit, always creates an echo chamber. And I'm sure I butchered that quote, but it's something along along that lines, I think that's a great topic and something that a lot of organizations are starting to realize that, you know, all these years of hiring for, for culture fitness, they're leaving people out, because they're just basically hiring people that are similar to them. So you are seeing organizations hire people who are chief people, officers, they're not just human resource individuals anymore, because they have more responsibilities. And we're even seeing things like organizations dropping requirements for college degrees, especially in the tech sector, because you don't need a college degree to figure out how to work AWS, I mean, there's tons of courses online and get a certificate and never touch college and make $150,000 a year. Easily. So we're on the cusp of all that, that stuff just just starting to happen. I feel like
Brian Comerford 44:13
I think so too. And, you know, there's there's a very interesting analysis that was done in the early 1960s. About the movement of money. And, and West is the direction that money moves, just in case you're wondering. And, and so this, this particular book by Carl ovals be called the ganking. Cowboy war is the one in which he really sort of spells out this, this westward trend of the movement of money. And so of course, you know, here we are, we just came out of an episode with Lance Mortlock very recently, and he talks about from, you know, a consultant of perspective, you know, What are one of those areas that are top, you know, disruptive concerns, and it's the emergence of China as the next global economic superpower, which, you know, if if timing goes, the way that it's projected, will arrive in 2028. So, you know, the westward trend of the transference of money does also not necessarily equate to the transference of innovation, but you can bet where there's money, there will be more innovation. So it'll be interesting to see what emerges from China in the next decade or so. China has not had a reputation as being an innovator. They've had a reputation of ripping off ideas that are already existing in the marketplace and, you know, borrowing from other existing intellectual property, and then building their own variations of it. So it'll be interesting to see if, if that trend continues as their economic strength rises, or if, in fact, they do take a world position in terms of being innovators.
Nick Lozano 46:09
I mean, you make very great points. And when we talk to Lance, I thought about that a lot, too. And I think a lot of it comes down to them, respecting, you know, intellectual property. And you brought up the great points, right, they, you know, a lot of or, like, you always see stuff in China, right. I remember seeing this thing atop here. Jeremy Clarkson goes to China. And he's like, here I am in Beijing. And he's like, I've got my fake polo shirt on my fake Louis Vuitton bag, I got my fake Tommy Hilfiger jeans is just like, fake everything. But But I agree, as they come more prominent on the world stage, it's, it's going to be interesting to see how they they play to that, because, you know, at least in more of the Western cultures, intellectual property is more more recognized and respected. Not always. I mean, we see. I mean, we even see instances of organizations here, you know, straight stealing stuff from other people. And sometimes in the tech space. A lot of that happens with open source projects. Somebody will borrow something and not read what license it actually has don't give anybody credit. So I'm not saying that it doesn't happen in the West. Because, you know, obviously,
Brian Comerford 47:27
Pirates of Silicon Valley. Exactly. So I
Nick Lozano 47:31
mean, it does happen here. It just doesn't happen as often. And we've got a legal system to go through, you know, to take these things. So it should be interesting, like you said, see how all this plays out? Over the next 10 years? Or so maybe in 10 years? We're still right in the same place we are now who knows? I mean, nobody has a crystal ball. Right?
Brian Comerford 47:52
That would be unfortunate. You know, we, we often ask our guests about books related to innovation. So I've got one in mind. And I'm curious if you do as well, Nick.
Nick Lozano 48:06
Yeah, I would say the so for innovation. For me, the first thing that comes to mind is only the Paranoid Survive by Andy. Thank you, Andy Grove, the longtime CEO of Intel co founder. And they're one of the original, big silicon tech companies. But if you think about Intel's trajectory, they were top of market from inception all the way to maybe like five years ago, when AMD started, you know, plugin happen. But I think that's a long run in tech, a really, really long run in tech to keep that innovation and that inter track process so that that's just a good read in general about his thought process and mentality and how he started Intel and how they kept fostering a culture of, you know, keeping that trajectory of Moore's law, basically.
Brian Comerford 49:00
Yeah, that is that is one of my top favorite leadership and management books of all time. It's, it's a phenomenal read. And I'm glad that you brought that up. You know, for me, there's, you mentioned Walter Isaacson with his biography of Steve Jobs. He followed that book with another book called the innovators. And that is a fascinating read. In fact, it's, it's one of the few books that I've read twice. I've loved it so much, I went back through it after I finished it and read it a second time. But it is, you know, sort of chapter by chapter, it goes through all these variety of people who have been innovators, you know, in their respective domains. And he, you know, he focuses that largely around what is the basis of computer technology, but he begins it, you know, all the way back in the era of Edelman Lovelace, right the, the the daughter of Lord Byron, who is often credited as being the first programmer. And, you know, goes through, you know, decade by decade and sort of era by era, covering a lot of ground with, with all these innovators in the tech space. So it's a, it's a great read, it's hugely entertaining. If, if you read his Steve Jobs, biography and enjoyed that, or any of his other works. This one is one of the best that I've ever read by him.
Nick Lozano 50:32
I'll have to add to my list, I did enjoy the Steve Jobs biography. And I came out of that realizing, at least for me, Steve Jobs was a great innovator. Great technologist, great marketer, great product guy. But he seemed like a terrible family man. slip. And to me, that's, that's important for me. As as a parent, when I when I read the stories of him and his interactions with his, his children, I'm just like, man, you know, I don't know if I want to be that innovative, that popular and feel like I feel so much on the other front. But that's just my two cents on that book. I don't know if you felt any different.
Brian Comerford 51:15
Oh, yeah, without a doubt, and I think he, you know, it admitted that openly. And that's part of the reason that he chose to have Isaacson, you know, really depict him as accurately as possible warts and all, which I think is commendable. You know, he recognized that he wasn't a great person, with relationships, and particularly when those relationships came to the relationships with his own children, and not to justify it, but when you consider that he himself probably only ever met his father, unknowingly, when his father was the maitre d, and one of the restaurants that he frequented, you know, because as an adopted child, he never, he never had any sense of who his parents were. So, so that's, that's got to do a number, you know, on your emotions and your mindset as well. So
Nick Lozano 52:08
I think, yeah, imagine, can't even imagine,
Brian Comerford 52:11
you see a lot of that sort of characteristic of abandonment, carry over into, you know, how he interacted with, you know, his daughter, Lisa, but, you know, with his children at large. So, I guess that's the, you know, that the caveat that we append, our tail of innovation,
Nick Lozano 52:34
we go out and replace just be a
Brian Comerford 52:36
good person while you do.
Nick Lozano 52:42
Yeah, I guess with that, we'll we'll wrap up. Thanks for listening. We appreciate everyone. Whether you're one listener 1000s of listeners, or listen to one episode or every episode, we always greatly appreciate that. If you could go ahead and leave us a review on iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, wherever you're getting your podcasts, let us know how we're doing. Give us five stars. Leave us a review. I'd actually like to go through reviews sometimes and read them at the end of this. Like somebody leaves a funny review. I totally, I totally want to read it on air. But if you could just go ahead and do that for us. We greatly appreciate that. If you found this episode value or any episode value, if you could share it with a friend or co worker or colleague. You know, it'll just help us grow the show and help us you know, reach new listeners. And as always, if you have any information you want to talk to us you can find me on LinkedIn, I'm Nick Lozano. Bryan's Brian comberford and I am also on Instagram at Ronan janitor and on tick tock at running janitor. So if you see me cruise around there, be sure to follow or connect and let's let's take this conversation offline and like to meet some of our listeners offline. It's always always fun running into people that way.
Brian Comerford 54:01
Well said Thanks, thanks.
Nick Lozano 54:02
Alright, thanks, everyone.