“Become A Pioneer!” Ten Top Innovation Tips From Industry Vet Iain McDonald

“Become A Pioneer!” Ten Top Innovation Tips From Industry Vet Iain McDonald

It was all eyes on ad:tech this morning as industry veteran and Razorfish founder, Iain McDonald, took to the stage to talk all things innovation.

Or, more to the point, Australia’s worrying lack thereof. McDonald, who now runs innovation accelerator, Anitmatter, painted a disheartening picture of new ideas the nation’s generating.

Despite the common perception of Australia as a place to innovate and test and learn, when we look at the number of global patents registered in this country, we are behind the eight ball globally.

McDonald claimed that in Israel, for every 570 people there is one patent registered. In Australia that figure is one in every 2,500 people, and it’s declining.

The ad:tech chair shared these nine tips for individuals, agencies and brands that can help them rekindle the pioneering spirit:

  1. Let go of something. We get trapped into these ruts as humans are programmed to behave in patterns. Challenge yourself and break something.
  2. Invest 10 per cent of your time in yourself in learning.
  3. Get hands on. Virtual reality can be as simple as Google Cardboard, go play with it.
  4. Hang out with “weirdos” – kids, nerds, geeks. Since leaving the ad industry McDonald revealed he’d been hanging out with scientists at the CSIRO and had learnt so much. They are, he said,  diametrically opposed to anyone working in the advertising industry.
  5. Value all ideas. We give away so many ideas for free. The sheer amount of talent and ideas that get thrown away every year is staggering, McDonald believed.
  6. Don’t block. Too often ideas are blocked as “too expensive”, “not on brand”, “doesn’t fit”, “won’t work”. People will look for any excuse to block. Give freedom to fail.
  7. Build a bridge somewhere new.
  8. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
  9. Ready, fire, aim. We suffer from analysis paralysis far too much.

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