The Innovation Blog

If a tree falls in the woods...

Posted by Creative Realities on Oct 22, 2009 1:39:00 PM


This is my first post and I feel compelled to share why I'm doing it, and why I've never done it before.  The headline for why I'm doing it is that I have been shamed into doing it by a client.  The headlines for why I never did it before are that a) I didn't think anyone would really care what I think, b) I'm uncomfortable sharing personal information, c) I have so little time for all the other things I love, I'm unsure if I will be able to maintain a fresh, timely blog, and d) I'll have to be very careful what I share because so much of what I am doing at any given time is proprietary and confidential.


Shamed into it?  

Yeah, shamed.  On Monday, I'm sitting in the outside courtyard of a hotel in the Napa Valley, soaking up some precious sunshine (I'm from New England, where it's been a bit too cold and snowy for relaxing outside lately), when my client strolls up to me.  This is the guy that arranged to have me come to Napa to be his guest speaker on innovation to engage his company in new ways to grow.  We've talked several times in the past about innovation, about trends that drive it, etc.  This morning we got into toys and gadgets.  I was showing him my new Kindle which can hold up to 200 books, etc., and working on my Mac Powerbook.  His creative guy walks over and we get to talking about technology for creative types and I get directed to his blog (  Cool guy, cool blog (what do I know, I'm new at this, but I liked it).  One thing leads to another and the next thing I know, my client is telling me that it's nuts that I don't have a blog.  I'm in the business of new, of trends, of staying in touch.  I study and leverage trends all the time.  I'm a gadget freak.  I'm from the generation of "He who collects the most toys before he dies wins."  Then he says, people like him want to get to know guys like me, especially if they are looking for help or considering hiring us!  He shamed me into it.  So okay Tom, here it is.  Let's see where it goes.


Why not before?

Who cares?  I'm a Boomer.  I would have been all over this in my younger/college/marching in the streets/social activist days.  But then we became the "me generation."  We moved into business and became big-time competitive.  Sharing became somewhat selective.  Later, we moved into the "cocooning trend."  We began pulling back into the nuclear family.  


I'm uncomfortable sharing personal information.  

The idea of broad social networking simply has not been a big need/want/desire for me or for many of my generation.  We tend to work things out quietly, by ourselves, or with a shrink, not by airing it out for the world.  Frankly, I'm amazed at the growth of social networking among younger generations.  Facebook, Youtube, MySpace, etc.  I'm learning, but as with anything new, if you are going to get involved, you have to find ways to make it your own.  So this blog isn't going to be highly personal, except as I touch the world of innovation.  It's simply not me.  Hopefully you will see the passion I have for what I do, but we'll keep the personal life stuff out of here.  I'm also going to engage the help of some of the younger Business Innovationists here at Creative Realities to try to help me decide what you might be interested in.



We'll see.  Right now, I have great intent.  My partner Mark loves to talk about the "Say Do Ratio."  Generally people and organizations do a whole lot more "saying" than "doing."  I can begin to envision sharing some of the cool stuff I come across just about every day as I move from one industry to another.  I find it extremely interesting.  Hopefully I'll take the time to share it and you will too.  Right now, I'm moving between the worlds of alcoholic spirits, building and construction materials, chemical ingredients that enable other products to work, things that cool, and things that generate electricity.  Each one has something new and interesting to learn from.  That's my mission.  To share with anyone that's interested,  some stories from the field, tips and techniques, trends, etc.   


Most specifics must remain Secret

Much of this must be presented without brand name.  The work we do involves proprietary thinking, ideas, concepts and business models that are in development.  So until they hit the market we can't share a lot.  Right now, I'm thinking that the best way to handle that is to combine some real-time experiential stories with some announcements and stories of how we got there after the results of our collaboration has hit the market and can be discussed.


So, if you're out there, your interested in the practitioner's view of innovation, stay tuned.