Voices Of Innovation: Jeff Hawkins
Creator of the first PalmPilot PDA and Handspring smart phone and author of the book On Intelligence, about the human brain and intelligent machines.

QUESTIONS ASKED:
Let’s talk about serial innovators. What’s the secret to success?
And so what steps do you do? (for innovation success that is)
Can a company be a big innovator?

SUMMARY OF ANSWERS:
Jeff says that he doesn’t know if there is a secret to success.
He says “Being a great innovator is like batting in baseball. If you’re batting .300 or .350, you’re doing pretty well. Most people, they never get a hit. I try to think very hard about what’s ultimately going to happen.”
Once the long-term vision is seen, then one has to get there – step-by-step. You can’t just solve all the problems at once and bingo, you have an industry. No, you have to solve a whole bunch of those problems, and along the way you have to make money while you’re doing it.

Companies don’t innovate; people do. If you’re going to innovate, you have to overcome problems. In a startup, you’re going to have all these people telling you you’re wrong. If you’re at a big company, you’re going to have all these people telling you you’re wrong. It takes a lot of nerve and perseverance. You have to keep fighting the battles.

SOURCE: BusinessWeek, the Innovation Economy Series