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March 19, 2014

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Susan

Ben,

Thanks for the response! I agree with the fact that so many people are afraid to pursue innovation. I’m very fond of Blue Ocean Strategy, and cite it often. I haven’t seen the Spencer Tracy film, but it sounds like something I’d enjoy. Have a great day!

Susan

Ben Cross

Susan,

I love this post!

Innovation is so key to major breakthroughs, yet it still amazes me how few people pursue it fearlessly. Your tips are good. A couple years ago I was fortunate to read a book called, Blue Ocean Strategy, written in 2005 by professors Mauborgne and Kim from INSEAD business school. It prescribes a method to innovate your business to become so uniquely valuable that you stand alone (think Apple, Cirque Du Soleil etc.) They use a term "value innovation" which they essentially define as increasing value and decreasing cost. I found it interesting that one of their techniques was actually eliminating services--that did not value add value. I highly recommend it to people who are looking for a practical blueprint for innovation.

As far as inspiration to innovate... Edison is a great one. I recently caught "Edison, The Man" with Spencer Tracy (1940) on TMC and it was absolutely wonderful. I never knew how many things he invented, and more importantly how many times he failed! He was an overwhelming failure at the light bulb for years and publicly ridiculed for even believing such a thing was possible. Then he was nearly forced out of business by the gas companies who fueled the lamps throughout the cities.

It's critical to have the courage to dream big and the confidence in those dreams to pursue them fervently. I think your blog and philanthropy helps people do just that. Keep up the good work!

-Ben

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