My Favorite TED Talks About Creativity: Joi Ito

Want to Innovate? Become a Now-ist

Joi Ito doesn't like the word "futurist" - he thinks that real innovation comes instead from being a "now-ist." He argues that innovation is best driven by taking action now and not asking for permission. Deploying something. Anything. And making small changes and improvements along the way as you learn.

My favorite parts of the talk:

""Deploy or die." You have to get the stuff into the real world for it to really count, and sometimes it will be large companies. But we should be getting out there ourselves and not depending on large institutions to do it for us."

It's a bottom-up innovation, it's democratic, it's chaotic, it's hard to control. It's not bad, but it's very different, and I think that the traditional rules that we have for institutions don't work anymore, and most of us here operate with a different set of principles. "

"One of my favorite principles is the power of pull, which is the idea of pulling resources from the network as you need them rather than stocking them in the center and controlling everything."

"We could not have planned this whole thing, but by having a very strong compass, we eventually got to where we were going, and to me it's very similar to agile software development, but this idea of compasses is very important."

"I think it's about stopping this notion that you need to plan everything, you need to stock everything, and you need to be so prepared, and focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware, and super present."

"...what you need to learn is how to learn."

My Main Takeaways from this talk for Enhancing Innovation

  • Just get started - no excuses about resources.  You CAN do something, even if it is on a much smaller scale than your big vision. One of my favorite resources is 37Signals' book ReWork. One of my favorite principles of theirs is to release "half the product, not a half-assed product." This means that if you are strapped for resources and time, but have a deadline, it is better to release half the product rather than changing that deadline, or attempting to do too much and ending up with a mediocre product.
  • Stay mindful of your situation and possible opportunities.
  • Try things out first, commit to things later.
  • Embrace mistakes.
  • Be willing to throw your plans out the window.
  • Learn from everything.
  • Keep going. Never stop.