BETTER & FASTER: Innovation Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche's Top Speech on Innovation



[Applause] human hearts rocket ships scorpions and origami these might seem unrelated but if you understood chaos if you could connect the dots I can make you better at anything better innovator better investor better at adapt to the catch is that your big idea is so much closer than you think your breakthrough but you have hundreds of choices that you could make and each of those choices takes you to a slightly different version of your potential so how do you know if you're making the right choice people don't internalize it but we're experiencing history's highest rate of change and yet our brain is the product of 10,000 years of evolution effectively as a farmer and that comes with a series of traps traps that block your hunter instincts and that block you from adapting to find your true potential smart team successful people consistently overlook ideas that were so close within their grasp I've spent a decade studying chaos and helping about 400 brands billionaires and CEOs adapt to change faster and today I'm going to do that with you I'm going to make you better and faster I'm gonna make you better by showing you the traps that block you from realizing your potential and I'm going to make you faster by showing you six patterns of opportunity patterns and shortcuts that I've learned from studying a quarter million ideas using Trent Hunter's audience of a hundred million people like a giant innovation focused group you're going to see a new way to realize your potential and if it works I'm gonna make you better and faster but the thing is because I also have to get you riled up because I have to kick this off we could either study fortune 500 companies it's okay or if you want we could use a bear fighter the business of ugly retro video games reclusive billionaires rap stars and maybe even ex-criminal entrepreneurs what do you want to learn from do you want to learn from fortune 500 s or X criminals I love you guys already so you've chosen the path of the criminal well it's actually interesting because the lifespan of a fortune 500 used to be 75 years but that average has now fallen to 15 years and it's expected to fall in half over the next decade I think it's more interesting to understand how Kaos works how successful teams and smart people respond to change what's going to become clear is that chaos creates predictable opportunity and that's actually something that can benefit each and every person in this room so the question of course is how how do you connect the dots how do you put these pieces together well for this I want to talk about human hearts rocket ships scorpions and origami they might seem unrelated but not to Robert Lang an origami expert for hire who used the power of paper folding to change lives now at first that seems a little bit ridiculous but let me explain when Robert was a kid his teacher gave him a book on origami I got one too but my origami looked horrible but Robert was different Robert loved this stuff he obsessed and sure he went to Caltech sure he ended up eventually getting a job at NASA he had 23 patents and jet propulsion all right but you know at night at night at night what he got excited about was the Japanese underworld of competitive origami he obsessed about origami impossibilities like the black scorpion and I know you're thinking traditional paper folding wisdom tells us we can't fold that scorpion with a single piece of paper but Robert obsessed about it he couldn't help but think that patterns opportunities clues are all around us and an innovation your ideas usually closer than you think but it's something you're overlooking so he started breaking that little scorpion down and he built a little program that would actually let him see the shapes and just start to find patterns a little faster pretty soon he realized he could fold just about anything so he continued on his exploration until he created what was known as the secret weapon he could fold anything with a piece of paper the world of competitive origami would be forever changed the average number of folds in competition went from 30 to well over a hundred which leads you to that fateful day where you pick up the phone and you say mom yeah you know that job at NASA thing I've decided to quit to fold paper full-time as much as that would scare many of you in the room when Robert was interviewed by a newspaper he said there are plenty of people doing lasers but the things I could do in origami and at first that seems far-fetched but when NASA needed to figure out how to fool the satellites to get it inside the shuttle they needed Robert Lang's origami when a heart stent manufacturer needed to figure out how to squeeze that little stent into a heart valve they needed Robert Lang's origami and of course the reason you have 13 airbags in your luxury vehicle is because he's figured out how to fold those to make them happen and perhaps most astonishingly when bioengineers actually stack the human genome they use Robert Lang's origami when I interviewed Robert what he had to say to me was that almost all innovation happens by making connections between fields that other people didn't realize and those last four words those are the insight what other people don't realize because in times of change unfortunately most people will miss out and that's not what we want to try and think about we want to be motivated but in order to actually make change happen you need to realize that we are hindered by a series of traps from evolution we're in this crazy fast period of change but our brain hasn't adapted or had to adapt at that very same speed once you find your field of opportunity your occupation your job your team your process your big marketing strategy once you find that field that puts food on your table you're pre-wired to repeat and optimize all of the decisions that led to last year's harvest for example Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975 oops that worked out should have pursued that blackberry popularized the smartphone but of course they protected their business market so much they overlooked consumer Blockbuster Video was one of the most successful retailers ever they did a lot of stuff actually in online video streaming they had three chances to buy Netflix but they did and does anyone know what those are by the way those are books and Encyclopedia Britannica was approached by Bill Gates he wanted to digitize their love their Bound collection and they said no you're gonna ruin this you're gonna ruin the sum of human knowledge so he decided to go ahead and buy funk and Wagnalls which was a much less successful encyclopedia he converted everything over and he launched in Carta in Carta launched in 1995 with Windows 95 and it propelled Bill Gates to be much wealthier than he was then to become a tenza billionaire because it repositioned the family computer to be a device of learning for the family but even Bill Gates as smart as he was knowing how much of his fortune was derived from Encarta even he didn't want to adapt to give that content away free online because he already had his field of opportunity so a bunch of amateurs come together they make Wikipedia and pretty soon Wikipedia is the seventh most popular site in the world excluding pornography but in each of these cases you'll see how you get caught up in your own success smith-corona they invented laptop word processors grammar checkers spell checkers they invented a lot of the word processing we use today they spend one year selling computers but then they decided to focus on their b2b customers their multinational corporations their governments their banks they retreated back from selling computers and they decided to become the best in the world at the market they were really good at they decided to be the best typewriter company in the world and they still are today in each of these examples the company the people the successful people working there found something they were good at they started harvesting it and that caused them to miss out on their true potential we repeat whatever led to last year's harvest we farm to break out of this there's three things you need to do you need to awaken your inner hunter you need to hunt and you need to capture opportunity that sounds real easy when I list it out but awakening our inner hunter means preparing ourselves to adapt getting in the mindset with our internal success and our team to be ready and willing to change hunting means actually taking time out of your week your team's week to look for new opportunity and capturing well this can be the toughest a lot of teams have a great idea maybe you've been in a brainstorming meeting and great things have come out of it or you've thought of different concepts but acting making these ideas happen that's a whole other step and many of these companies you see here hundreds of fallen brands also had great ideas but they failed to action those ideas so I'm going to tell you the tale of a farmer and I'm going to tell you the tale of a hunter and these two examples were purl perplex you they'll inspire you and they'll get you understanding how to be more successful yourself this is Roy on the left and Roy sold cough syrup and nobody likes cough syrup although that kids smiling a lot but one day Roy was at a department store and he was looking for something to do that was different a different business opportunity he could pursue and pretty soon it was getting laid he decided just to shop for his lady his wife who was waiting at home and it didn't take long before he was wandering into the intimate apparel section in the department store thinking she might like this he felt he was being stared at like an unwelcomed intruder it's for my wife I swear so he left and he took that awkwardness and he got in his car and he drove away but he drove away with two insights he thought what if there was a shop for men to buy lingerie were mended by lingerie for women that's totally different and he thought what if they sold more fashionable lingerie well that would make men happy so we took his idea and he started his own little store his store was actually reasonably successful so he started another another another another and pretty soon he was repeating and optimizing his formula he was creating you know a franchise but the problem is that what he didn't realize was all along this whole time he was slightly wrong you see he was never successful because he'd made a shop that was geared towards men although that's certainly what he thought his success actually was different it was because he had created this SHOP full of fashionable lingerie that hadn't been done but it wasn't about making men happy it was actually that lingerie makes women feel more confident and that's subtly different actually and although the men in the room might not get that right away the women understand what I mean so pretty soon Roy was headed for bankruptcy because all of the department stores decided that they would add their own fashionable lingerie and that's actually where women preferred to shop so he sells his chain Victoria's Secret for about four million dollars it's a rumoured number but it's around four million the new owners immediately reposition everything to be targeted towards female shoppers to make women feel confident they grow their four million dollar investment into a six billion dollar mega brand worded differently Roy missed a six billion dollar opportunity now truthfully Roy was actually successful he grew a company that he sold for millions the difference between Roy and the rest of us is that you don't have somebody that comes in to do your job and show you what you're missing we don't have the fortune or misfortune of seeing what we're missing out on we're we're similar to Roy is that we're all pre-wired with certain traps the three traps of the farmers I call them once Roy or the rest of us become successful we can become too complacent with that success we lose that hunger that we had when we first graduated from school needed to figure out what to do Roy and the rest of us become repetitive we try and repeat our success with slight tweaks and finally we become very protective of our insights especially as we become more successful the way out of this would be harness our hunter instincts so I'm going to show you someone who does just that and El Monte was a 77 year old male and he works really hard he loves to work he wears the same blue outfit every single day he eats lunch at the exact same place and he was never photographed until 1999 when he had to be now the extra little thing about Amancio is that he actually is worth more than all of these characters combined he's worth more than the Queen and Oprah because Amancio is worth seventy billion dollars thanks to the creation of Zara now you've seen Zara perhaps in the shopping malls but what you might not realize is that Zara is not just an example within fashion Zara is an example of the future of business you see Louis Vuitton would look at Zara and their creative director says AR is possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world and here's why and any other store a designer comes up for a concept a little red dress let's say and in about twelve months they can get that little red dress in the stores at Zara instead of taking 12 months they designed the dress send it to Amancio have it produce and in stores in just 14 days the reason they can do that is everything about their organization is set up to adapt to find a search and find opportunity they create that little dress they cut it out of a material that's called greige because you can dye the color later and they don't make a million of those dresses they make just five of the dresses which they ship to each of their 2000 stores they would outsource to China but that would take too long they would advertise but they can't the dress won't be in the store long enough but actually when you're in the store this is where the magic happens if you're a young woman and you see that dress and you like it will you better buy it today because might not ever see it again when a storekeeper comes up to you and they say hey do you like this dress you think it's just a regular conversation but it's not the storekeeper will say hey actually what do you like or not like about the dress and you might say well I don't like that it has a stripe at the end of each day each storekeeper takes their notes goes to their terminal and writes down dress 4 4 6 did not like the stripe the designers who only made the dress two weeks ago get the feedback they make a new dress they remove the stripe and 5 new dresses end up in each of the 2000 stores just two weeks later so safe to say zara is a very different type of company and the guardian they actually did a little bit of a story on the expansion of Zara into Australia and they noted Zara is the signifier of a stylish city and the best part is they found a teenage girl so if anyone here has a teenage girl can I get a show of hands who you're as a teenage girl or a teenager in their house all right so focus on what a teenage girl is like and imagine that they find this young woman and they asked her what Zara means and what it means that it's there she says thank God we won't have to be a third world fashion country anymore I'd like to find the girl and to be able to say guess what that's the guy that made your dress and he wears the same blue outfit every single day for Amancio the daily task is marked by self-improvement and the search for new opportunity that's his mantra but it's also the mantra for everyone within the company this all adds up to make a company a person that is better and faster and if we compare the two examples we see that Amancio Azara the hunter the hunter is insatiable curious and actually willing to destroy for this next part what I really want to tell you about is some of my inspiration which came from my father and through the course of writing better and faster I actually interviewed my dad to get his story and then unfortunately he had a heart attack and he died so that sucked obviously but I had the cool opportunity to interview my dad and to ask him questions that you don't normally ask when you're 16 year old kid so um do you guys want to hear the tale about my dad all right thank you oh well this is sig and young sig was born to a poor immigrant family he shared a small shoebox of a house with his two brothers and they didn't have much but they did always eat well and one day he's going through the grocery store with his mom and he sees some philadelphia cream cheese so he reaches up and he grabs it he takes a big bite out of it before they bought it his mum looks over disgusted she grabs him by the neck takes him to the storekeeper and says hey I caught this kid stealing isn't that your kid yeah what should we do about it and they sends him to sweep the floors after school for the next month and what he did that he couldn't help but realize at the end of each week they gave away scrap food that would still be edible in his poor neighborhood so he decided to strike up his first business deal and he agreed to keep sweeping those floors forever in exchange for the leftover food which he would sell at discount prices to the delight of his poor neighbors and when he did that he became a boy businessman and pretty soon he was the first kid on the block with a leather jacket and a BB gun he made the natural expansions in two-month-old magazines door-to-door Donuts and school supplies by 16 he was ready for his next challenge he managed to get his name secretly onto the lease of a building onto a nightclub and when he did that he became a 16 year old underground nightclub owner and he couldn't get his booze license figured out but what he did realize is you could just rent the club to groups groups like this and you'd have a fun time and he'd be at home doing his homework collecting the money one day he rents it out to a religious group but the problem is that while he was doing his homework that night that religious group liked a little bit more than religion they also liked their booze they liked their gambling and they like their strippers and that was the day the police decided to do their bust so they opened the door to see what this 16 year old nightclub is all about they open it up and needless to say they went immediately to his house to find him and his mom and close down that club it made headline news so my dad was grounded forever but to his friends he was awesome he was elected student council president immediately and through his whole career what he would always try to do is find opportunity in people and in places that others overlooked and as an example there was a little club called the Roxbury it was a pool hall restaurant bar kind of thing and it was beautifully renovated but the owners didn't put the extra effort the extra elbow grease into really marketing it so he picked it up but he knew nothing about running a restaurant however it was in a brick building that faced rush-hour traffic so by converting that outside wall of that building to become a billboard he already turned it into a break-even business all I needed to do now was to figure out how a restaurant works so we decided to go to the neighborhood and knock on about a thousand doors asking each person hey um I just took over that defunct bar down the street do you want to come down have a beer with me and tell me how to run it better you do that a thousand times you make a lot of friends but you also learn how to run your club and the way the people want it and pretty soon that was the local watering hole through this in many lessons he taught me to be insatiable push harder work smarter look deeper act sooner and never give up and at this point in his story he has a kid and then he has another kid and pretty soon he wants to make us into little entrepreneurs so I had an upbringing it was very different for most people he would buy hundreds of magazines every category and we go through flipping through for the section of what's new whether it was a book about boats or fashion or cars and we'd look at the new innovations and say hey would this work in a different industry could we do this in a different place what do you think and then we'd actually try and prototype out some of those little example businesses that told me to explore your curiosity to connect the dots in a different way to be relentless and at this point in his career he had some successes and he had loaned a little amount of money to the Calgary Stampeder football team about as much money as you'd need to basically buy a car and when he did the previous owner had had some problems with the SEC and they could no longer be an owner anymore so the courts looked at the books and they realized his small loan was there and they offered him the chance to be the owner of this struggling team if he chose to accept it now the problem is that he didn't have the deep pockets to withstand any additional loss but now you know his story he's that poor kid from the poor neighborhood this is the irresistible challenge for him so even though everyone was warning him not to do it he took it on and the stadium at the time was getting 14,000 people as an average attendance so we went with the players and they started picking up the phones actually calling people who cancelled season tickets he figures over his six years he sat in about a thousand different seats he would come into the game he would sit next to you he'd find out what your story was ask what you liked about the team ask what you could do better and then at the end your buddies and he'd say hey do you have more friends he'd say yeah and he goes you gotta breathe we need him to the next game and you keep doing that again a thousand times meeting all these different people and pretty soon the attendance goes from 14,000 on average to 35,000 on average so selling out every game and in his six years of ownership they were first five out of the six times and they won the Grey Cup two times which is our Super Bowl so the best part of all of that is that when he had his final year the the players or the team everybody's supposed to like put in their votes and the fans for who the MVP player should be but everybody crossed off the name of the players that they wrote his name so then he was awarded the MVP trophy even though he never played a game so that's the story of my dad thank you very much so in my life what that upbringing did was it made me really curious and insatiable to be an entrepreneur I didn't know what I wanted to knew but I saw opportunity everywhere so how do you actually find your big idea it becomes a little bit overwhelming so I experimented with half a dozen businesses as a student then I became a management consultant to see how big companies work I did my MBA my CFA I started running an idea pipeline for a bank and eventually I took over their high-end business unit in in Canada and I grew them a billion-dollar portfolio and that sounds exciting and me and my team are quite excited but the problem is I couldn't help but think that there was a different path for me I couldn't help but imagine finding my 12 year old self and saying guess what you grew up to be a banker it's not the dream that I had so I actually wrote a book on chaos started studying it more in depth and then I created a website where people from around the world could come to share business ideas but pretty soon there were a ton of us insatiably curious people looking for inspiration and after publishing a quarter million ideas and having a couple billion page views it's become really clear that this is an ultimate platform for figuring out more predictably what people actually want what are the sort of next consumer trends so that attracted a lot of different brands who we started pairing up with advisers and pretty soon it exploded and we're working with hundreds of different companies from fashion to healthcare to science and the interesting thing we've learned is that it doesn't matter what industry you're in there are certain patterns of opportunity that tend to cross over all industries innovation is like a splash in water and that splash creates ripples of opportunity as an example if you were looking at Facebook well that's exciting but even in 2007 they had 50 million users already how do you take facebook on it's too late Google couldn't do it how could anyone else but if you broke facebook down into its parts you would see hundreds of opportunities it created in 2007 Facebook basically a site for friends to archive photos of their everyday life so just one pattern would be divergence the one we started with what's the opposite of those three things well Facebook's just for friends what about a site that's not just for friends that's Twitter that's later if people are archiving all of their photos what if I don't want people to see my party photos forever well what's less permanent snapchat for billion-dollar company years later and if people are sharing their everyday photos well now the world is flooded with generic photography how do you bring the art of photography back well that's Instagram billion dollars again years later divergence is actually one of six patterns that I'm going to talk to you about today and when I do what's going to become clear is that chaos creates predictable opportunity and I'm going to give you this tail with the tail of Dietrich now Dietrich was a guy who loved having fun he loved having fun so much it took him a whole decade to finish university he picked marketing because that's where the party was at but fast forward in time and it seemed like Dietrich when he looked at where his life had gone was actually a marketer selling toothpaste so he needed to figure out what are the other ideas out there what is his actual calling and it seemed that in Thailand the exciting thing to do was to rock it up to have a good time and if you did that you started noticing the cab drivers well they were addicted to a little something called crafting dang and that's what helped them drive through the night in his case that's what helped him perk up for that next day meeting so he decided to bottle that up to sell it to make this a product so he quit his job he took all his savings and he and a buddy well they had a focus group and they started figuring out the potential of this product and at the focus group they learned it tastes it tastes awful it's horrible why would you quit your job for this this tastes really bad this is a bad idea run away from it but they already started so what do you do when your products well something that tastes awful well I guess if everybody else has a big can you need to have a small can if everybody else charges a dollar well you need to charge three then it seems like a premium product at least and if everybody else has multiple SKUs you will have just one and if everyone else has a legal and compliance team and they're not allowed to sponsor cool stuff well you will let's just hope that parachute opens six billion dollars later it appears that opposing the mainstream does indeed seem to fuel your success now I could end the red bull story there you've learned a little something already but I was thinking if you want I could tell you the secret reclusive tale of red bull the one that goes back a bit earlier but it's a reclusive company like this is a secret you'd have to work for it do you know the secret back story yeah you want to know Red Bulls history well here's how it goes I managed to have a beer or two with the man named Hans brains Hans was number three at Red Bull and he was put in charge of expanding globally so he got into his new job and he said hey what's our global expansion budget what's the marketing budget and they said oh it's two and a half million dollars for a global product okay all right well at least how did the focus groups come back they said it tastes awful all right is there anything else I should know if yeah there's one more thing there's this little PR nightmare maybe you can help us with it said people around the world there's a rumor going on that redbull comes from a bull testicle so we need you to try and stop that okay or do we it's a red bull decided the actual plan was you know what let's put up a website and unmoderated forum where people can share ideas legal disclosure we're not looking at it pretty soon everybody assumed that red bull was actually from a bull testicle and each time they'd expand to a new country they would go to the local version of the FDA and say oh by the way it's actually like half a cup of coffee it's not from a bull testicle they'd be allowed in but there'd be a media uproar and pretty soon they'd have another successful launch that was working well until one day there was a drunk driving accident and the people who had had a lot of drinks also had Red Bull vodka so Red Bull was pulled into the courts and they had to have a defense so they came up with a perfect defense they said okay we will pull our product from the shelves as long as we agree to pull everything else people mix their hundred vodkas with so if you could just tell coca-cola then we'll follow suit and we'll be good okay well we can't do that while we're figuring this out would you agree to put a warning label on the can yes we'd agree to a warning label that's fantastic what a great idea wait what should the warning label say not for teenagers yes we'll do pretty much at anything what else not for pregnant woman um tangible proof it works I like how you're thinking anything else while we're at it yeah please put on the label don't mix with vodka yeah the recipes on the can now what is really interesting about Red Bull is that Red Bulls not supposed to win it's not supposed to beat the two fortune 500s that rock at the world of marketing and if you think Coke and Pepsi don't understand Millennials or marketing you're mistaken Coke and Pepsi have a marketing budget of five and a half billion dollars that's the size of Monaco's entire economy and about 43 other countries in comparison Red Bulls launch budget who was enough to buy that house in Palo Alto Red Bulls not supposed to win but you see Coke and Pepsi like other fortune 500s they have rules policies structure brand standards because of that they're actually predictable and in the time period of chaos and change if you're divergent well that's a pretty quick way to success your big idea your breakthrough is so much closer than you think it's close within your grasp but what you need to remember is that your success actually blocks you from finding opportunity so more than anything be curious be insatiable be willing to destroy and you will be better and faster which patterns you'll learn next acceleration explored through the business of extreme adventure convergence taught using an ex-criminal entrepreneur divergence further explained by the business of ugly reduction exemplified by an empire built off heartbreak circularity revealed through business lessons from a giant sea turtles migration patterns redirection demystified using shock lessons about turning chaos into opportunity visit better and faster calm to continue your journey plus get better and faster with a couple hundred bucks in bonus features including a digital copy of my last award-winning book free trend research bonus videos and special tools to help you get better and faster

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