A career or a venture can be shaped by a number of ingredients, say Silicon Valley's experienced pundits. What's critical is carving out your personal path through creative thinking and scientific practice. Make innovation a daily exercise and search for what's truly exciting, and the budding entrepreneur will discover the opportunities that abound.
Like taking vitamins or exercising daily, Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO, points out that fostering lifelong creativity depends on instituting good, healthy mental habits. This first habit on his list of five encourages thinkers to become hyper-aware of their environment, and to notice the common and everyday with new eyes. Capture fresh ideas and don't be afraid to use them later, he insists.
If you're only working to serve someone else, stop. Only when you're following your true passions - in the case of Peter Diamandis, founder of X PRIZE and multi-time space entrepreneur and enthusiast - can you withstand the bumpy path to success. And if you're unsure of where your passions lie, simply revisit what you daydreamed about most from your childhood. This, says Diamandis, is where all the biggest ideas first hatch.
Leadership, funding, policy, education, and culture are all concepts that leaders should keep in mind when trying to foster innovation in any organization. Judy Estrin, CEO of JLABS, breaks down these five influential elements and discusses their interplay. Effective and strategic leadership is perhaps the most important element. The right leadership and the right culture will facilitate adequate funding, strategic policies, and education that can contribute to furthering new ideas.
Hugh Martin, Chairman and CEO of Pacific Biosciences, looks back on the evolution of his career - from building computers to creating the future of medicine. Martin charts the lessons he learned working for large technology firms, as a leader in several successful start-ups, and while being courted by the VC community to launch a new wave in bioscience.
The team behind Cooliris - CEO Soujanya Bhumkar, Product Manager Josh Schwarzapel, and CTO Austin Shoemaker - discuss in detail the launch and management of their innovative web-discovery business. Topics discussed include cultivating vigorous start-up energy, building monetization into the product, and building an effective and talented team.