Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney
An award-winning podcast that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create game-changing products or services. Phil McKinney, retired CTO of HP and the creator, and host of Killer Innovations has been credited with forming and leading multiple teams that FastCompany and BusinessWeek list as one of the “50 Most Innovative”. His recognition includes Vanity Fair naming him the “The Innovation Guru”, MSNBC and Fox Business calling him "The Gadget Guy" and the San Jose Mercury News dubbing him the "chief seer".

Building a library of inspiration in your innovation studio is what ensures you have a ready source of ideas. This can come in the form of a collection of innovation books. I am a visual learner, so reading books is where I often find my inspiration. I am going to walk you through some important books I have and explain why I value them. The first book is “Frank Lloyd Wright: A Visual Encyclopedia”. I grew up in Chicago where Frank Lloyd Wright started and was very popular. Personally, this book reminds me to create my own style. This is where Frank Lloyd Wright separated himself from others. He created his own style and put a different spin on the design of his buildings. The next book is called “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander, a professor at UC Berkeley. This book breaks down patterns that are found through building houses, cities, and various types of other buildings. This book was used by the developers of the original Sims games. While you can’t take what is in this book and apply it directly to a product or service, the book does teach an important idea. You can generate a certain feeling or experience through the patterns and designs that you use.


The third innovation book is “Designing Interactions” by Bill Moggridge which focuses on designing experiences. The book offers important insights into the origins of Google and others. The next book is “The Universal Principles of Design” by William Lidwell. This book touches on what to do with design, where problems can occur, and how to avoid them. The fifth book is “Thinker Toys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques” by Michael Michalko. In my opinion, this is a book that every innovator should have. The book brings together all of the tools, approaches, ways to brainstorm, uses of SCAMPER, etc., that are very useful for innovators. Pretty much anything that Michael puts out, I buy. Another book is “Six Thinking Hats” by Dr. Edward de Bono”. I got introduced to the innovation/creativity space by watching a TV show he put out on PBS back when I was a kid. Over six or seven shows, Dr. de Bono taught about unleashing your creativity, which sparked something inside of me. The book is a great reminder to change your perspective and keep a fresh mind and is a great piece to have in your library of inspiration.

Fun Books I Keep

Now I’m going to share with you some fun books I keep that make me laugh. The first one is “The World’s Worst Inventions: The Craziest Gadgets and Machines Ever Made” by Jack Watkins. This book discusses some inventions that have been deemed stupid by many. Ironically, some of these inventions have gone on to be successful after this book was published. The next book is “Fail Harder: Ridiculous Illustrations of Epic Fails” by Community. This book humorously discusses human failings and reminds us of our human nature. 


Direct download: Innovation_Books_-_My_Library_of_Inspiration.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 12:00am PST