Innovative, Collaborative, and Being Crazy

I learned three interesting stuffs today, and they’re somewhat connected. First is about innovation. I’ve been pushing, about us in Viki, to have a pet project to drive innovations. There were some colleagues when I started the conversation about starting a pet project. Steve Jobs said that innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. I threw an idea about randomly adapting any good app and apply the concept to how users consume our TV shows. One person mentioned about Tinder, so I said “let’s do it like Tinder, replace the person with a video or TV Show.” Another person seemed reluctant to the idea of developing untested design, and was inclined to improve the search experience instead. But he’s missing the point of pet project. It’s supposed to be something different, build the prototype, observe how users are using it, then iterate or throw the idea and move to the next idea. It’s getting out of the comfort zone, getting into the rhythm of making decisions, being lean. Not everyone is willing to do this, and that’s why most of us are followers.

Secondly, it’s about collaboration. We’re not alone in this world. It always takes more than one to achieve something great. Unfortunately some people just couldn’t collaborate. They always feel threatened when others give their opinions. Today, it’s even more difficult if you can’t collaborate. Things move faster, and you just can’t do everything by yourself. You need others. My favorite quote from Edison, “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”

The last one, is about being crazy. I just watched The Imitation Game with my wife. It’s a true story, about a mathematician who led a team to break Nazi’s Enigma, a cipher machine. People thought he’s crazy, and initially others didn’t trust him. The rest of the team were doing the same thing they had always been doing to break the code, and it always failed, but they kept doing it. This guy, Alan Turing, sketching stuffs to build a machine, trying a totally different approach, he innovated. He didn’t have a good progress with the machine, until he collaborated with the team. He got a suggestion from one of the team members, and he accepted the improvement. And in the end, they could break the code, and it helped British to defeat Nazi.

Innovative, collaborative, and being crazy. And I’m gonna quote the Think Different commercial copy from Apple, “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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