hen faced with the need to innovate, many companies establish “skunkworks” or special units to be their innovation engines. Obviously, this only adds to the silo-rific corporate culture, in which the “chosen few” are deemed to have all the best ideas, leaving the rest of the company scratching their heads on how they can contribute.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur who’s worked at the edge of innovation by launching start-ups. But I rarely see the same innovative thinking that happens at a start-up applied and integrated into larger corporate systems. Until I met Paul Estes.
The story of the song Old Town Road is a preview of the new economy. The rapper, Lil Nas X, was throwing stuff up on Soundcloud that he’d recorded in the closet of his bedroom. He was going through YouTube listening to beats.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what hinders innovation, especially business model innovation from taking hold in agencies and brands. There’s always an immediate buzz or sometimes panic that breaks out when a new idea comes to the forefront of culture.
My SUV in Sayulita, Mexico has been consumed by rust over the years as the salt in the air has taken its toll. It sputters quite a bit, topping out at 45 mph. The floor is full of sand and surf wax is permanently embedded in the dash. A while back, after a particularly memorable surf session here, I hopped a plane back to the states.