It takes more than ideas to be innovative. Come participate at #Innofest

Ask most people who they think is innovative, they will likely name Apple, Amazon or Google. Some many even mention Facebook.


True innovations though have been coming from industries outside of technology for years. In the area of healthcare, medicine, drug delivery, education and mining for example, creating great outcomes to help improve the lives of humans.

The credit card for example is one of the innovations I value the most. Not having to carry cash and yet pay for practically anything and “actually” pay for it many days later. What’s not to like? Very innovative.

There are a few observations about innovation that I wanted to put forth.

First, most innovative ideas which have a lot of impact rarely seem to be so early on. I still remember many years ago when a friend, Mike Walsh mentioned Uber to me and I did not think it was very innovative. I actually thought it was an app for taxi drivers to get fares. Turns out it is an innovative way to avoid car ownership.

Second, you need help from many others to bring your innovation to the market. Almost always those people who you need help from are pretty busy or very tied up, so they will likely not have time to give you. Being persistent, taking any chance you get and keeping at it helps.

Finally being disciplined and meeting people from other backgrounds and experiences helps a lot. Getting ideas that worked in other fields and trying to solve problems you have with a different perspective helps make your idea stronger and more innovative.

I heard about Innofest from my friends Sharad and Avinash this week. The 1 day un-conference is an event to be held in 2 weeks (22nd Aug) at IISc Bangalore.

The event is an un-conference so you will have a chance to meet with folks and discuss ideas instead of just listening and leaning back to hear “speakers” talk. Also, the part that’s most useful is that you will get 10 min to talk to the awesome lineup of speakers – people like Alok from Saif partners and Bhavish from Ola Cabs among others. These folks have been through it before and will be there to help guide you through your problems and formulating your idea.

I think if I were in Bangalore, this would be a must attend event. #IndiaCanInnovate