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The Business of Design breakfast discussion / tweetathon

Posted by: Helen Walters on October 22, 2008

Just back from the Cooper-Hewitt, where Bruce Nussbaum was moderating a conversation between three innovation/design bigwigs: Bob Greenberg, founder of R/GA, Marissa Mayer of Google and Citi chief innovation officer, Amy Radin.

Much to talk about and the conversation was insightful and free-flowing. I’m a recent convert to Twitter (@HelenWalters) and had a merry time tweeting away. I must say, it was a pretty good way to remain focused, and I feel like these notes will stand me in good stead as reference points for the future. Certainly better than the reams of paper I usually end up producing at such events (and never look at again.) Better for the environment, too. Anyway, I’ve copied and pasted them here, complete with time stamp, so you can see how it all panned out:

0848: At Design and Business breakfast at Cooper Hewitt museum

0852: "Turmoil provides great opportunity for innovation and design." Discuss. Google, Citi and R/GA addressing here

0858: Bob Greenberg: "third screen [mobile] will become the first screen"

0859: Marissa Mayer: scarcity and frugality are lifeblood of Google innovation

0901: Mayer: "constraint breeds creativity".

0905: CIO at Citi: When she started, given $$. Didn't want it--wanted a start up mentality and can-do attitude. (Doesn't say she rejected the $$)

0911: Mayer: key insight from Google calendar was sharing. Now one of hottest apps

0915: Mayer: "Content creation is by its nature a social act". She's talking up spreadsheets/docs

0917: Citi: "Facebook did not invent social networking". Ability to engage and co-create provides huge opportunity for banking.

0920: Citi: good source of ideas [for banks and consumers]: "what are other people doing?"; "Here are other people's money management systems"

0924: Greenberg/R/GA: visual people don't want spreadsheets. 3d hasn't been embraced yet beyond labs/research but should be

0925: Should there be a national innovation advisor in the cabinet?

0934: Citi: the public policy issue is to move at speed of consumers' desire for free, secure access to own information

0942: Google/Mayer: privacy/trust is paramount. People have natural suspicion. So from design perspective, design for transparency and control

0947: Mayer: national innovation adviser wd be useful but innovation done better from ground up. Everyone should innovate, whatever their role

0952: Citi: success conditions for innovation start with culture & education. Schools should honor creativity and innovation. But art gets cut 1st

0954: Mayer: Google promotes innovation envy. Not just engineers or designers who get to innovate but everyone. That spirit should be fostered

0957: Google/Mayer: what's the opposite of innovation? Integration. "Let a thousand flowers bloom".

1007: Mayer quotes Eric Schmidt: all recent successful technological innovation started with 2/3 people, not teams of 50

1009: R/GA/Greenberg: from beginning, team structure includes one person from every dept to hash out an idea. A good idea can come from anyone

1015: Mayer's litmus test for appropriate innovation: her mum. Will she get it? Keep people at heart of everything

1018: Citi: with a new idea, is there an unmet need and potential audience? Keep things simple, plant a seed, iterate and build out. And prototype

1023: Mayer: home page web design. What 7-12 things really matter? Don't give everyone everything. It's meaningless.

1024: Mental note: must clean up BusinessWeek Innovation page.



What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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