15 Thought-provoking quotes about innovation and success

quotes about innovation

By Mark Schaefer

I was honored recently to be invited to be one of the 8,000 attendees at the recent Dell-EMC World conference where I got to meet some of the greatest minds in the tech industry up close. One of the exceptional opportunities was hearing three amazing keynote speakers with their own takes on creativity and technology …

Here are some interesting quotes about innovation and success from their talks:

Malcolm Gladwell

“To be a true innovator you have to be a bit surly. You can’t depend on people patting you on the back all the time for your reward.”

“Almost every day we are reminded of how radically porous our computer systems are. You would think there would be a public outcry over this.”

“The true innovator believes they have no choice but to create change. Once they are determined, there is nothing you could do or say to move them off their goal.”

“To be a great company, you need to manage the social aspect of the company. Many start-ups are lacking this because they have not been around long enough to develop this competency. General Motors knows how to help employees, manage benefits for employees, manage a global enterprise. A company like Uber still need to acquire this knowledge. When I hear about Uber cutting driver pay I think they will have to learn the same social lessons car companies had to learn in the 1930s.”

Kevin Kelly

“IQ is now a commodity like electricity. You can buy more of it and turn it up. This is the start-up model today: Take a traditional product and add more IQ.”

“A major trend will be maximizing interaction with devices by taking us inside the world through virtual reality. You will be able to learn with your body by being part of the lesson.”

“With virtual reality, you don’t remember what you see, you remember what you feel. We are moving to an internet of experiences. This is the most social of all social media.”

“Access is better than ownership. Uber is a transportation company that owns no cars. Facebook is the largest publishing company in history and it owns no content.”

“Facebook is crude today. The power of millions of people collaborating together has not been touched. It is a world brain, an emerging connected machine, a technological super-organism. I don’t even think we have a word for this. How can we construct something that benefits from this new machine?”

“Wikipedia in theory is impossible. It was only possible in practice.”

“The greatest products of the next 20 years have not even been invented yet.”

Tien Tzuo

“The modern customer, the entire economy is up for grabs. We have to think of the new business model that starts with a customer instead of a product, a focus on increasing value per customer versus number of units sold.”

“You don’t have to deal with products any more. You can subscribe to what you need.”

“It’s hard for those of us who are adults to imagine what will happen if we don’t have devices with keyboards anymore, but that’s where innovation is going and that’s where all technology is going to be in five years.”

“You have to go and pursue an idea, and you have to work it out. It takes a long time. You plod away at something, and you try to go deep, immerse yourself, and learn. You try to take these leaps, and eventually, you hit upon your breakthrough. My biggest advice is to find the environment where you can immerse yourself and work it out. I believe success is only 30% based on you and 70% based on the environment you work in.”

Which of these quotes about innovation grabbed your attention and why?

Disclosure: I was compensated to travel to Austin to attend Dell-EMC World but I was not paid specifically to create this content. Book links are affiliate links.

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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  • “We have to think of the new business model that starts with a customer
    instead of a product, a focus on increasing value per customer versus
    number of units sold.”

    I love this quote. Increasing value per customer is what’s going to win in the long run. Customers want the best product/value and they have a ton of the information they need (professional reviews, crowd-sourced reviews, etc.) to make sure they’re buying the best thing. Marketing spin will only sucker in first adopters, but if those first adopters don’t love the product, the company either has to listen to this feedback and make it better, or it’s never going to reach the masses.

  • Claytonjay101

    “With virtual reality, you don’t remember what you see, you remember what you feel. We are moving to an internet of experiences. This is the most social of all social media.”

    I was just reading yesterday research and the psychology behind people buying based on emotion. This could perhaps be another reason why Snapchat has been successful, you feel as if you are there with someone and their experiences.

  • Thanks for connecting the dots. Interesting observation.

  • Good observation Brandon.

  • Laura Teich

    It was validating to read this,”success is only 30% based on you and 70% based on the environment you work in.” Individuals can not succeed with broad organizational support irrespective of how much customers need the product/service you are offering.

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