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Innovation
Differences
vs.
Mario Herger, PhD
@mherger
www.marioherger.at
www.enterprise-gamification.com
A Talk About
17 Differences in Approaching
Innovation and New Ideas
Silicon Valley vs. Europe
17
Elements of Innovation
Innovation involves
①Attitude
②Skills
③Ecosystem
④Money
⑤Process
Attitude1
Naiveté vs. Knowing
Naivité
Creative playfulness and naivité
needs to be present. This opens the
mind and often brings sur...
Innovation needs Passion
Passion
Believe in their ideas and are
able to make others interested
and engaged.
1b
Reservation...
Share Your Idea
Share the idea
Share the idea with anyone who
wants to listen. This guarantees
feedback and better underst...
Students
Creating
In Stanford every student either
has a startup, a startup idea, or
wants to work for a startup.
Google o...
Somebody
Me
No meetup about a topic that I
am interested? Nobody takes on
this injustice or social cause?
Good that there ...
Can vs. Cannot
Finding Ways
Everything is possible and
problems will be solved while
we are going.
Yes, and…
1f
Finding Ex...
Rules
Break the rules
Youtube, AirBnB, Uber, Tesla
break and bend the rules.
The time it takes for regulators
to look at t...
Making a dent in the universe
Making a dent
SV founders are on a mission to
improve the world, to make a
dent in the unive...
Skills2
Innovation as a Craft
Craft
Americans see Creativity and
Innovation as a craft that can be
learned.
Design Thinking, Multi...
Tell Stories
Story
People are hardwired to
understand and remember stories.
Stories encourage empathy, the
understanding o...
Soft Skills
Soft Skills
Americans have 20 years head
start with pitching. Children have
to present and demo their
favorite...
Ecosystem3
Fear & Opportunity
Chances
Creative people take an idea and
build on top of them. They look
for ways to use them better or...
Network
Open
In Silicon Valley people connect
you with their own networks. If I
know somebody that could be
useful for you...
Why You?
Praise
People are generally supportive of
you trying to change the world.
They are polite, even if they think
it’...
Envy
Hard work
People who are successful are
seen as lightning rod that one can
learn from.
If they can make it, I can als...
Facilities
Make
TechShop, co-working spaces,
maker faire, burning man are all
places where people can go, do,
and get thei...
Advisors
Founders
The list of advisors at SV
universities such as Stanford reads
like a Who’s who of successful
founders.
...
Universities
Innovation
Innovation = Invention + execution.
With a quick proof that the market
needs it.
There is a high d...
Money4
Angel Investors
Angels & VCs
Investors do not only provide money,
they also connect, coach, and
provide other resources. T...
Liquidity
Seed to Exit
Liquidity is available in all stages
and in high volumes. This enables
rapid growth and expansion.
...
Process5
Iterate & Pivot
Build – Test - Build
The lean startup approach
requires to prototype and test
with customers rapidly. Quic...
First Adopters
First Adopters
First adopters are willing to spend
money and provide crucial
feedback. This gives startups ...
Business Speed
Next week
Speed of closing deals and signing
contracts is counted in days or
weeks.
5c
Next year!
Months an...
Failure
Learned
You failed? What did you learn?
Failure is a natural part of learning.
If you learn from it, you will not
...
Patents
Maybe later
There may be a patent in it, but
why waste time when we don’t yet
know if this works and if the
market...
I write about many
things, including
innovation and
gamification:
Enterprise Gamification
Engaging people by
letting them ...
Available on (Print) or as
More of My Books
Keep Innovating!
Enterprise Gamification Consulting
http://enterprise-gamification.com/
Silicon Valley Inspiration Tours
h...
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Innovation Differences - Silicon Valley Versus Europe

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While Silicon Valley creates new billion dollar companies every year, Europe lags behind. What are the approaches on innovation, creativity, and new ideas in Europe and Silicon Valley that lead to these drastic differences?

This slide deck examines 17 differences compiled from countless discussions with startup founders, investors, corporate people, and my experience of living in both Europe and Silicon Valley for many years.

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Innovation Differences - Silicon Valley Versus Europe

  1. 1. Innovation Differences vs. Mario Herger, PhD @mherger www.marioherger.at www.enterprise-gamification.com
  2. 2. A Talk About 17 Differences in Approaching Innovation and New Ideas Silicon Valley vs. Europe 17
  3. 3. Elements of Innovation Innovation involves ①Attitude ②Skills ③Ecosystem ④Money ⑤Process
  4. 4. Attitude1
  5. 5. Naiveté vs. Knowing Naivité Creative playfulness and naivité needs to be present. This opens the mind and often brings surprising ideas. Asking naïve questions “Why does the apple fall down?” can lead to new ideas. 1a Knowing Every meeting and gathering is a status meeting. Proposing silly ideas endangers your status. So keep quiet. This often prevents from building on new ideas, and from doing, as “past experiences” tell you that this cannot work. Creative people tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time. vs.
  6. 6. Innovation needs Passion Passion Believe in their ideas and are able to make others interested and engaged. 1b Reservation Don’t appear too enthusiastic, as this will be interpreted as naïve, insincere, or a scheme, and the innovator as lacking in intelligence. If you are not passionate about your idea, who is? Teresa M. Amabile; Brilliant but cruel: Perceptions of negative evaluators; Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 1983 vs.
  7. 7. Share Your Idea Share the idea Share the idea with anyone who wants to listen. This guarantees feedback and better understanding of an idea. It also allows to pivot faster before wasting too much time and resources on an idea with no market and interest. 1c The NDA trap Somebody can steal your idea! Better not talk about it to anyone! Let everyone sign an NDA before you share your idea! Or better: work in secrecy until it’s done. Ideas are abundant, execution is scarce! vs.
  8. 8. Students Creating In Stanford every student either has a startup, a startup idea, or wants to work for a startup. Google or Facebook are already considered “old economy“ amongst students. 1d Managing In Europe students want security and work for big companies. They don’t even have the idea that they could do a startup. They are told “Take risks, but be very, very careful!” (see interview with EU Neelie Kroes) US students create Facebook, European students sue it. vs. Facebook sued by law student Max Schrems for privacy violations - http://tinyurl.com/kp72sk4 European Entrepreneurs Must Screw Their Courage To The Sticking Place, Says Neelie Kroes - http://tinyurl.com/on4dw6x
  9. 9. Somebody Me No meetup about a topic that I am interested? Nobody takes on this injustice or social cause? Good that there is me who will take charge and organize! 1e They Society, the state, the government, the EU, the Americans should do something! Why aren’t they doing that? I am paying taxes so that somebody can do something, right? Somebody should do something or call somebody. vs. www.meetup.com
  10. 10. Can vs. Cannot Finding Ways Everything is possible and problems will be solved while we are going. Yes, and… 1f Finding Excuses First reactions are that something cannot be done. A lot of energy is spent finding excuses why something cannot be done. Yes, but… Can vs. cannot mentality. vs.
  11. 11. Rules Break the rules Youtube, AirBnB, Uber, Tesla break and bend the rules. The time it takes for regulators to look at them, often the new reality shows that the rules need to be changed. 1g Follow the rules Better safe than sorry and follow the rules. Europeans often don’t even have the idea to question the rules and forget that rules need to be reconsidered and can be changed. Breaking or following the rules? vs.
  12. 12. Making a dent in the universe Making a dent SV founders are on a mission to improve the world, to make a dent in the universe, to build something larger than man. That’s why they often do business in non-traditional ways and run everyone else over. 1h Making business No larger mission. They call Americans to be megalomaniacs, world improvers (and this not in a positive way). They just do business like they have done before. World improvers! Megalomaniacs! vs.
  13. 13. Skills2
  14. 14. Innovation as a Craft Craft Americans see Creativity and Innovation as a craft that can be learned. Design Thinking, Multiplication Method, Task Unification… Growth Mindset 2a Genius Europeans think that someone needs to be born as a genius to be creative. They same is considered true for movie directors, actors, authors, comedians… Fixed Mindset Creativity is a skill that can be taught and learned. vs. Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Ballantine Books, 2007 vs.
  15. 15. Tell Stories Story People are hardwired to understand and remember stories. Stories encourage empathy, the understanding of another human being’s pain and problems. 2b Facts The most important thing are technical details and facts. There is no need to tell a story, this just detracts from the awesome engineering. Don’t forget to go into every details and bore your audience to death. One good story sells better than thousand great facts. vs.
  16. 16. Soft Skills Soft Skills Americans have 20 years head start with pitching. Children have to present and demo their favorite toys already in daycare during sharing days. Small talk, networking, being social are all important aspects of making a startup successful. 2c Hard Skills Europeans think that the idea and product speak for themselves. Every VC will certainly just kneel down thanking the European entrepreneur for finally solving that problem. “Take my money!” Soft skills get little respect but will make or break your startup. vs.
  17. 17. Ecosystem3
  18. 18. Fear & Opportunity Chances Creative people take an idea and build on top of them. They look for ways to use them better or find additional uses. This gives them an opportunity to find even better ideas. 3a Risks Europeans look first for risks, dangers, and limitations. Is data privacy, labor laws, harm to body and mind, my lifestyle etc. an issue? This attitude prevents them from playing with the idea. Opportunity presents itself only for the prepared willing to take the risk. vs.
  19. 19. Network Open In Silicon Valley people connect you with their own networks. If I know somebody that could be useful for you, I’ll get you in touch with them. Ultimately, I will profit as well, because people pay it forward. 3b Closed Europeans keep their networks closed. They fear that they’ll lose their contacts and opportunity to the other person, or that the other person may not be deemed “worthy” enough to enter that circle. I am important, because I have a network, and I don’t let anyone in. Pay it forward. vs.
  20. 20. Why You? Praise People are generally supportive of you trying to change the world. They are polite, even if they think it’s a bad idea. But they will give you the benefit of believing in you and telling you so. Reach for the stars! Go for it! 3c Justification Too many people asking these questions drain a lot of energy. Instead of talking about ideas and executing, too much time is wasted with justifying them. When you turned your back, they will talk about you and your crazy ideas in a dismissive and negative way. Is this your task? Are you even qualified? Why don’t you get a real job? vs.
  21. 21. Envy Hard work People who are successful are seen as lightning rod that one can learn from. If they can make it, I can also make it. 3d Luck Europeans think when you succeed, it is more a sign of somebody’s luck than hard work. Therefore, you don’t deserve it. And they are even happier, when you failed. Because they told you so. Praise can be bought. Envy needs to be earned. vs.
  22. 22. Facilities Make TechShop, co-working spaces, maker faire, burning man are all places where people can go, do, and get their hands dirty. Many Kickstarter funded projects get their start at TechShop. 3e Talk You talk for such a long time about what you would do or somebody should do, if you or they had the means that by the time you may have the means you forgot that you wanted to do something. Be a maker not a talker! vs. www.techshop.ws
  23. 23. Advisors Founders The list of advisors at SV universities such as Stanford reads like a Who’s who of successful founders. 3f Consultants Most consultants from McKinsey, PwC, BCG - you name it - didn’t learn entrepreneurship by starting their own companies. They studied entrepreneurship from universities that don’t teach it in the first place. First hand vs. second hand experience. vs.
  24. 24. Universities Innovation Innovation = Invention + execution. With a quick proof that the market needs it. There is a high degree of collaboration between universities and companies. 3g Invention & Papers Universities think they are innovators. They are not. They are far behind the trends. Their incentive system is based on publishing papers. Applied science is disrespected, collaboration with companies seen as sellout. Public institutions still give them lot of money, because professors, you know! The myth of universities as hotspots of innovation. vs.
  25. 25. Money4
  26. 26. Angel Investors Angels & VCs Investors do not only provide money, they also connect, coach, and provide other resources. They are willing to take risks. Angels are also former entre- preneurs, who understand and empathize with the startups. 4a Grants Grants are cheap money handed out by bureaucrats, who tend to be risk- averse. Don’t waste tax-payer money! Grants come with no other support. Grants artificially extend a startups life, when it should have died earlier. Angels help startup founders become angels. vs. Austrian Angel Investors Association: Coaching Investors to Become Angels; http://www.aaia.at/
  27. 27. Liquidity Seed to Exit Liquidity is available in all stages and in high volumes. This enables rapid growth and expansion. 4b Seed to Stop Available funds are often limited to early stages, and nearly disappear completely. The startup’s growth slows or even stops much earlier. Wasting energy on finding tax-loopholes instead of investing in startups. vs.
  28. 28. Process5
  29. 29. Iterate & Pivot Build – Test - Build The lean startup approach requires to prototype and test with customers rapidly. Quick feedback lets startups iterate or pivot on their ideas. 5a Build – Build – Damn The engineering driven culture of Europe makes startups believe that they know best what the customers want without actually talking to them. Spending months on building a product before finally testing it often leads to unpleasant surprises. Not the customer is too stupid to “get it,” it’s the startup founders. vs.
  30. 30. First Adopters First Adopters First adopters are willing to spend money and provide crucial feedback. This gives startups much needed cash flow, ensures investors that there is a market for the product/service, and provides feedback for product improve- ments. First adopters are also advocates for the product/service. 5b Lets Wait Lets rather wait until the product is perfect. We all know that first versions are full of flaws. First adopters are willing to risk the pain and look stupid. vs.
  31. 31. Business Speed Next week Speed of closing deals and signing contracts is counted in days or weeks. 5c Next year! Months and years go by before deals are closed. In the meantime a startup will run out of cash. Of course this confirms the suspicion of the customer that making a contract with a startup is too risky. Tuesday is not good. How about never? Is never good? vs.
  32. 32. Failure Learned You failed? What did you learn? Failure is a natural part of learning. If you learn from it, you will not make the same mistake again and can teach others. That’s why I trust you. Now try again! 9 out of 10 startups will fail! 5d Failed When you fail, you must be the biggest loser and should be punished forever. Never trust a person who failed. Officials think that by planning properly and with help 9 out of 10 startups must succeed! If you’ve never failed, you didn’t take enough risks. vs.
  33. 33. Patents Maybe later There may be a patent in it, but why waste time when we don’t yet know if this works and if the market needs it? 5e First file a patent Let’s minimize the risk that somebody steals the idea and focus on patenting it. Then we do business development and talk to customers. We need to get the patent through, before we can tell you more. We’ll come back to you in a few months. The patenting frenzy. vs.
  34. 34. I write about many things, including innovation and gamification: Enterprise Gamification Engaging people by letting them have fun Print: http://amzn.com/1470000644 PDF: https://gum.co/V01Gamification My Book
  35. 35. Available on (Print) or as More of My Books
  36. 36. Keep Innovating! Enterprise Gamification Consulting http://enterprise-gamification.com/ Silicon Valley Inspiration Tours http://www.siliconvalleyinspirationtours.com/ Parenting with Gamification https://www.udemy.com/parenting-with-gamification- raising-empowered-children/ Some stuff that I do: Mario Herger, PhD Gamification & Innovation Expert, Author Entrepreneur, Speaker. http://www.marioherger.at/ mario.herger@gmail.com @mherger www.linkedin.com/in/marioherger/

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