Principles of Innovation Engineering

12 Principles of Innovation Engineering:

See here for a the extended version with context

Innovation Engineering: A framework to apply technology and create transformation by aligning human talent in an efficient, effective, and positive manner. This framework offers practical guidance for creating transformation – whether in large firms, research labs, new ventures, or even innovative student projects.


  1. Start with Story: Innovative projects start with a story narrative. E.g. NABC, AxB, "low-tech demo", or inspiring product demonstration. (BMoE, Oracle Case, Netscape Case)
  2. Strategy: Strategy should be set by the question of "how will the project win" according to your mission. (Strategy definitions of E&Y and others)
  3. Technology Strategy: Set technology strategy to achieve flexibility and speed/ease of incremental development. (Experience, Analysis)
  4. Scope: Choose a project scope/objectives which the ecosystem will support. The project plan should include partnerships and ecosystem development from the start. (See Caviar Case Example in IE book)
  5. Team Evaluation: A successful project will have 1) an exciting story; 2) logical high powered execution; and 3) social progress. Not every team member has to have all capabilities, but trust and mutual appreciation among team members is necessary. (BMoE)
  6. Execution while Learning: : Use inductive learning and reflection. Learning areas may include technology, tools, validation, business model, descriptive language, sales cycle or other areas. (BMoE)
  7. Agile Increments: Project execution is accomplished in agile increments, generally starting from the user’s touch point. (Design Thinking, IE Book, Experience, Analysis)
  8. Test or validate everything: Always be able to separate what you know will work and what you don't know. Seek truth, avoid spin. (See culture in NVIDIA Case)
  9. Powerful tools: Learn to use enough powerful tools. (e.g. Richard Feynman, Data-X)
  10. Innovation Leadership: A leaders primary job is to select, recruit, support and align the best team. The most important element within the team is "trust". An innovative leader's downfall is insecurity and ego. (BMIL)
  11. Behavior and Mindset: Innovation behaviors across the team include wide comfort zone, EQ, grit, and a balance of broad thinkers and reliable, operational/functional experts. The original team starts with mostly broad thinkers. Positive mindsets include "I can accomplish or learn anything" (growth), "resources are abundant" (to avoid over competition) and "adversity can be channeled become a source of strength” (motivation). Team members should have positively affirmed beliefs about themselves (confidence). (BMoE, BMIL, VMware Case)
  12. Innovation Environment: An environment that fosters innovation should allow intellectually diverse types of people to mix/collide together under pressure and common purpose. (Innovation Collider)