As I mentioned in my kickoff post, we will host a series of blog interviews over the next two weeks with speakers from our upcoming PreCommerce Summit (March 10) and Movers & Shapers Summit (March 12). Today’s interview is with long time friend, founder of the Social Media Club and serial entrepreneur, Chris Heuer. Chris will be part of a panel called “Future of…” at our PreCommerce Summit on Thursday, March 10.
According to Chris’s LinkedIn profile, he has been “engaged in interactive communications since 1993, and launched his first agency, Guru Communications, out of South Beach, Florida in 1994. Over the years he has helped numerous startups with go-to market strategies, product design, web site development, online marketing campaigns, eCommerce and what is now widely referred to as Social Media.” Some of the skills he’s been endorsed for by his peers are entrepreneurship, start-ups and social media marketing.
- Aaron: How do you define innovation?
Chris: Two words. Failure and iteration.
This is why most corporations do it so poorly, they think innovation is some magical process where someone just hits upon a big idea that will change the organization. A product or process that will change their competitive position in the market. In the real world, just as in our history, it takes 9,999 tries to find the right filament that can light your way forward.
- Aaron: What are you or your organization doing to drive innovation?
Chris: Rewarding courage and squeezing out fear. It’s the only way. On a personal level, it is a topic I speak on often, but I am also involved with the innovation community and have been studying what large organizations are doing now to get it right. While at Deloitte, I advised on the deployment of our innovation platform and often engaged with the different innovation exercises around the US and in Canada.
- Aaron: Who is someone in your industry (or outside) that you admire? Why?
Chris: Curt Carlson, former CEO of SRI, has done a tremendous job advancing innovation. His book, Innovation is a must read. I’m also a huge fan of what Tom Chi has been doing in the area of rapid prototyping with Factoryx.
- Aaron: Where do you see your industry being in 3 years? 5? 10?
Chris: Somewhere completely different then we ever imagined. Being cross-industry, cross-discipline, it’s hard for me to pick one prediction, but I am very much interested in contextualized collaboration using augmented reality with cognitive assistance and a voice based UI.
- Aaron: What book are you reading right now? How did you choose it?
Chris: Matterness: Fearless Leadership for a Social World. As for why choosing, see answers above. It’s essential to deepen our humanity and find better ways to create alignment so that we can all benefit. The only way to do this is to stand up for what is right and keep pushing on a vision of a #BetterWorld. This is why, even though I don’t have the time or resources, I have started working on a new non-profit, Rysing Tyde, to help lift all people to their greatest potential in the emerging economy that lies ahead.
- For fun: what three things would you make sure you brought with you in a zombie apocalypse?
Can opener, so I can eat brains easily without chipping my teeth.
Salt. Brains without salt are just gross.
Fava beans. Obviously, a good side dish is important.
Good running shoes, samurai sword and an iPhone packed with appropriate zombie killing music.