Killer Innovations
The award winning Killer Innovations™ Podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show (on +30 radio stations) is hosted by Phil McKinney, an award winning innovator of technologies and products used by hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. The podcast is Phil's way to "pay-it-forward" by sharing his experience and expertise in innovation so that individuals and organizations can achieve success in the innovation/creative economy. About the Host: Phil retired as the CTO at Hewlett-Packard where he led the product/R&D for the $40B PC, Mobile, Display/TV and Workstation business. He is currently the President and CEO for CableLabs, the non-profit R&D and innovation lab for the global cable industry. Phil shares his rule-breaking approach to innovation and creativity in his book "Beyond The Obvious" and via the podcast. He has been credited with forming and leading multiple teams that FastCompany and BusinessWeek list as one of the “50 Most Innovative”. His recognition includes Vanity Fair naming him the “The Innovation Guru”, MSNBC and Fox Business calling him "The Gadget Guy" and the San Jose Mercury News dubbing him the "chief seer". For more information on Phil visit his blog at philmckinney.com.

Among the emerging technologies, gadgets and hype, what innovation standouts were at CES 2018?  What trends have staying power?  

With almost every startup claiming AI, I’m having flashbacks to the dot com era when every business changed its name to get in on the buzzword bandwagon.  Is there something behind the AI buzzword that substantiates the fervor?  Interestingly enough, while the competition intensifies in areas of innovation, I notice a new level of cooperation among industry leaders in other areas.

I welcomed three guests-Tim Bajarin, Steve Guggenheimer, and Teresa Hsu- to the mobile studio to discuss the innovation standouts we’ll see in 2018.

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is President of Creative Strategies, Inc, and a renowned technology trends analyst.  During the interview, he shared his view of  some innovation standouts in Augmented Reality (AR), 8K TV and Voice User Interface.

[shareable cite="Tim Bajarin"]Don’t create what you think the customer wants – address the pain points to create the solution.[/shareable]

Tim’s eyes weren’t on AI so much as AR.  He anticipates AR becoming more sophisticated in its capabilities and uses. He envisions an evolution of AR technology that eventually delivers real time information and overlays of data through a pair of voice command AR glasses.

Tim considers the leap in TV resolution to 8K remarkable.  Sometimes the drivers that propel innovation come from unusual places.

Voice User Interface technology is a neck and neck competition in an ecosystem battle.  In Tim’s opinion, Amazon has emerged as an unexpected leader because they asked the right questions.  He advises clients: don’t create what you think the customer wants – address the pain points to create the solution.

Interested in hearing more from Tim?  Follow him on Twitter @bajarin or visit his website Creative Strategies

Steve Guggenheimer

Steve Guggenheimer has been a long time executive at Microsoft having most recently been Microsoft Chief Evangelist. In his new role as Microsoft Corporate Vice President of AI Business, Steve has shared what he sees as the real benefits of AI solutions.  In summary -- he sees AI as a phenomenal area for innovation.

[shareable cite="Steve Guggenheimer"]Take time to experiment and apply AI to focused areas for innovative solutions.[/shareable]

Three types of industries Steve believes AI can be applied to are:

  1.    Businesses with voice driven and agent based front ends.
  • Explore cognitive services, agent technology or bot framework and know how to use them.
  1.    Businesses with a significant amount of data.
  • Apply machine learning tools to data to drive real insight.
  1.    Businesses with a horizontal problem.
  • Build a solution from the ground up using AI.

His advice: take time to experiment and apply AI to focused areas for innovative solutions.

You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevenguggs  and discover more about AI and what it can do for your business at www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai.

Teresa Hsu

The technologies on display cover a broad spectrum across all avenues of our lives.  Teresa Hsu, Senior Manager with Consumer Technology Association (host of CES), shared that the trend is not just gadgets, but the technology inside and behind products that make them smarter.


What technologies are on the innovation horizon for this year? I had a chance to sit down with acclaimed Silicon Valley tech analyst, Bob O’Donnell, at the The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), to discuss the highlights of the show and where tech innovation is headed.

Bob shared that many of the products on view at CES were technologies debuted in past years, but with tweaks, improvements and continuing development. In his opinion, we are now coming in to the necessary, but less thrilling, phase of making things work together – a gradual progression, migration and integration - steps that need to happen to make these innovations a viable reality.

Fully Autonomous Vehicle

One of the biggest features at CES that Bob was most excited about was the fully autonomous vehicle. The timeline for final market release of these vehicles is a good example of how public expectation and actuality are not synchronized. Bob shared that this is a great example of where the public may expect an innovation to become accessible within six months, but in reality it will be three to five years before we are closer to these vehicles hitting the road.

Voice-based Computing

Voice-based computing was everywhere and the competition is stiff in the area of voice-assisted tech. Bob proclaimed that this is the new OS war with a lot of contenders. The advances and possibilities in smart home technology were impressive although smart home and voice assisted technologies are not without their problems.

[shareable cite="Bob O'Donnell"]Voice-based computing is the new OS war[/shareable]

2018 Technologies On The Innovation Horizon

Some of Bob’s predictions for 2018 (You can see his predictions in more detail at Tech.pinionsTechspot and Seeking Alpha):

  1. Empathetic AI: You will see AI drive empathetic computing. Our devices are still not smart, there’s no sense of context, but you will start to see that at end of 2018.
  2. The Year of the Accelerator: Development of neural network accelerators using chip technologies that operate more efficiently and are extremely power sensitive, allowing you to put more intelligence on the Edge.
  3. Growth of Edge computing: Now everything connects to the Cloud. Companies are innovating in the realm of Edge computing as an alternative to Cloud based computing.
  4. Voice computing: This year we will see refinements and enhancements in voice computing.
  5. Streaming services: As such services multiply – in media and beyond, the integration of these services will be a focus.

Want to keep up to date with what Bob is tracking? Check out www.Technalysisresearch.com

[callout]Click below to listen to Bob O'Donnell's discussing the technology and innovations at CES 2018[/callout]

Direct download: What_Technologies_Are_On_The_Innovation_Horizon_For_2018_S13_Ep47.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 8:16am PDT

Have you ever circled around a busy city block searching for parking? You know how frustrating it can be. If you run a business that depends on drivers finding a parking space, parking becomes mission critical. Is there an innovative parking solution that addresses this problem?

This weeks guest, Jeremy Leval, discusses the parking challenge and how Parknav addresses it. He shares his journey from entrepreneurial youth to becoming a part of an innovative solution to a very common problem.

[shareable cite="Jeremy Level"]Don’t overlook the benefit of accelerators and incubators to grow your business[/shareable]

As a child with the lemonade stand, Jeremy had the idea of offering free pretzels to keep the customers coming back for more. His desire to challenge himself and stand out compelled him to try new things, learn new skills and use these skills to establish start-ups. Jeremy continued to move into new avenues of entrepreneurship, seeking ways to solve everyday problems in creative ways.

Innovative Parking Solution: Parknav

While enrolled in an MBA program, Leval kept the entrepreneurial flame burning by teaming up with a colleague, now Parknav CEO, to establish a forum for engaging a community of entrepreneurial-minded people. Jeremy  found that listening to and learning from others’ mistakes was especially useful in side-stepping potential pitfalls in his own venture. He emphasizes the value of having input from people who are disconnected from your particular venture and are willing to provide a critical, independent and qualified viewpoint.

After college, he met a University of Illinois professor who had a simple problem: finding street parking in the city. Such was the beginnings of Parknav, a navigation system that finds that elusive street parking space for you.

As Parknav began to come together as a business entity, Jeremy and his business partners had to determine where to focus their product offering – who was their best target audience. They came to a decision to pivot from their original consumer focus to focus more on a business-to-business solution.

[shareable cite="Jeremy Leval"] Don’t give up on the first no. Persevere.[/shareable]

Innovators Advice:

During the interview, Jeremy shares his advice to innovators:

  • Have a community and advisers,
  • Knowing when to pivot
  • Take advantage of business accelerators to help launch your business that will bring the right partnersto the table.

Show Links:

[callout]Click below to listen to this weeks show on innovating solutions to very common problems[/callout]


Innovation is not something restricted to Silicon Valley or other Silicon Valley like location (e.g. Austin, Boston, etc). Innovation can happen anywhere. If you are willing to invest some time and little effort, you can find non-obvious innovation happening in some very unusual locations.

This week, we take the new mobile studio to Paducah, Kentucky to interview the founders of Fin Gourmet Foods. The business challenges some basic assumptions of innovation including:

  • Turn other peoples trash into a product: Fin takes the Asian Carp, which is an invasive species that is taking over the Mississippi and Ohio river systems., and innovate a way to turn it into a great food source.
  • Give opportunities to people overlooked: In addition to locating in a rural part of the country, Fin works with local halfway houses to offer jobs to former prison inmates and others down on their luck.
  • Breathe life back into a industry overlooked by others: Fin pays a premium price for what many considered "trash" to help local independent fishing families to transition to this new species of fish and the economy it can support.

What is the non-obvious innovation at Fin?

Fin has two patented processing techniques:

  1. To debone Asian Carp fillets and
  2. To make all-natural surimi (Japanese fish paste) from the Carp without using water or chemicals.

More on Fin Gourmet Foods:

Started in 2010, Fin’s mission and vision are that the Asian Carp provide economic opportunities for our communities, fostering jobs creation and revitalizing the inland fishing industry. Together with fisherman like Ronny Hopkins, we will better manage the Asian Carp so that our rivers/lakes/estuaries are better protected while employing people who need second chances from incarceration, drug court, domestic violence, or just to have a better life path.

[callout]Click below to listen to this weeks show on non-obvious innovation from unexpected places.[/callout]


Lets face it. Innovation is hard word and requires leadership support if an organization is going to be successful at it. Thus every CEO needs an innovation coach who can come alongside and help the CEO achieve innovation success.

Why does an organization success with innovation fall in the lap of the CEO? Because the CEO needs to own the innovation agenda. This is not something that can easily be passed on to the others. While an organization may hire an CINO (chief innovation officer), the innovation success of an organization is not something that can be handed off.

4 Reasons Every CEO Needs An Innovation Coach

  1. Innovation Coach Can Help A CEO Find Their Blind Spot: We all have blind spots and we need an outsiders perspective to see them. This is especially true when it comes innovation blind spots.
  2. Innovation Coach Takes A Dispassionate View: Innovation can become very political inside an organization. A CEO needs a dispassionate independent adviser who doesn't have a dog in the hunt.
  3. Innovation Coach Can Ask The CEO Questions No One Else Can: CEO needs to be able to talk and work through issues with someone who has the role and permission to challenge and advise. The CEO cannot have this same level of conversation with their Board or team. The coach must ask the questions no one else will.
  4. Great Performers Have A Coach: People and team who want to outperform their peers have coaches. These include business, leadership and personal coaches. If innovation is import to your organization, then you need an innovation coach.

As a CEO myself, I can attest to the challenges and loneliness of the role. Having a team of advisers and coaches are invaluable to achieving personal and leadership success. Innovation should be the next area of coaching every CEO should take advantage of.

[callout]Click below to listen to this weeks show on the 4 reasons every CEO needs an innovation coach. [/callout]

Show Links:

For peer-to-peer coaching, check out TheInnovators.Community. A private Slack community of people who are passionate about innovation.

Additional Resources:

[callout]Click below to listen to this weeks show on the 4 reasons every CEO needs an innovation coach. [/callout]

Direct download: 4_Reasons_Every_CEO_Needs_An_Innovation_Coach_S13_Ep44.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 9:00am PDT