Bill Gross
Bill Gross (Photo credit: jdlasica)

To get a thumbs up for innovation from Bill Gates is nothing to sneeze about. Bill Gross has done just that. Bill Gates just wrote a note about Bill Gross in his Gates Notes. I have been following Bill Gross for as long time now. He is the quintessential ideas guy, he has been doing this since he was a teenager. I wish we had role models like him in India. We were taught that working for the Government was the best job one could get. I still remember my mother urging me to take up a job with the Indian Railways and how that would secure my future with at easy 9 to 4 job! what a concept! anyways, I digress. This post is about Innovation and how to make it sustainable and solve big problems because that is what Bill Gross has created in Idea Labs. There are 5 key things that he outlines in the video and so does Bill Gates. How can we create an environment that fosters these things?

  1. Embrace failure as learning: Employees don’t fear loosing their job if an idea does not work – it allows them to take risk
  2. Bold Ideas are important, but they can fail: Try bold things that have a high chance of not working, its still learning
  3. The market place is not always ready for a new idea: Old ideas that are shelved can come back if a market has changed
  4. Go places where others are too afraid to venture: Get excited about things that are in the white space of what others won’t do – the best ideas come at this intersection
  5. Analyze, Assess and Move on: It takes a dissection of the strengths and weaknesses of all systems, coupled with statistical analysis, to quickly cancel out the ideas that won’t work, in order to land on a completely new idea.