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.

Imagine a major sporting event that you can’t sit at home with friends to watch on TV.  Maybe you’ve had to work late or you’re a student returning from classes on the subway.  You do the next best thing.  You take out your mobile device to live stream it.  To add to the excitement, you live chat with friends who are streaming the event.  Then, you hear your friends cheer.  What just happened?  You missed it - the winning goal your friends saw first.  Only seconds of delay but big disappointment.  It’s prime time for a live streaming innovation.

South Korean start up company Hecas has tackled this problem.  The company focuses on live video streaming solutions.  Hoisoo Cho, Hecas Marketing Director, joined me in the mobile studio to discuss Hecas and its live streaming innovation.

Making Real Time Real

In live streaming, latency is the delay between a live event and the time it appears on your viewing device.  As Hoisoo points out, what’s called live is not in real time because of latency.  South Koreans love video live streaming.  From sporting events to K-pop to personal broadcasters, South Koreans like to connect and watch in real time.

[shareable cite="Hoisoo Chu"]The seconds of latency will make the difference between users who stay or leave.[/shareable]

Hecas has stepped up to meet this demand for mobile low latency live streaming.  With the Olympics hosted in South Korea, the timing couldn’t be better.  Their customer driven solution has gained traction with big players in South Korea.  Companies like South Korean Telecom have tapped into Hecas’s mobile live streaming innovation.  Now Hecas is ready to break through international markets.

“The seconds of latency will make the difference between users who stay or leave.”  Hoisoo affirms.  For video streaming, I agree - latency is the new metric.  It’s impact on a variety of applications is going to become more critical.

Friends and Failure

Two things that Hoisoo learned in the start up process:

  1.  Teaming with the right people is everything
  • Hoisoo was fortunate to make great connections at university – a core group of like-minded friends who had the entrepreneurial vision
  • She launched her first start up with these friends
  1. Failure can be a good thing.
  • University is an excellent environment to initiate a start up – it’s a safe place to experiment and fail.
  • Failure can offer valuable lessons

Listen to this week’s podcast to learn about Hecas.  It’s journey from a group of college friends to a company working with the largest telecom company in South Korea is inspiring.

Track how Hecas is shaping the future with live streaming innovation at http://www.hecaslab.com/

Direct download: In_Real_Time_-_Live_Streaming_Innovation_S13_Ep51.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 11:50am PST

A video game competition between siblings is one of those simple joys of childhood.  But it is no simple thing when one of those children has physical limitations that have kept him from that joy.  His smile when at last he can play a virtual soccer match against his sister speaks volumes.  Xogo is an accessible innovation that makes things possible for the physically challenged.

Motivation and Inspiration

People with disabilities are a largely underrepresented group in the U.S.  Bansen Labs, the company behind Xogo, focuses on the needs of these people.  One of their goals is to make technologies accessible at a reasonable price.  Their merging of business and social good is inspiring.

Ray Abel, CEO of Bansen Labs, tells us about this remarkable product. He shares what brought the company from class project to the Cable Labs Fiterator. One of the things that sets Bansen Labs apart is its unique perspective.  Dalton Banks, Bansen’s Chief of Product, grew up with a person who was physically disabled.  This was his inspiration behind the class project.

When it comes to accessible innovation, Ray feels that those who have a personal connection have the advantage.  The result is a product that looks better, works better, has a broader range, and a lower price.

From Classroom to Living Room

When you think of gaming, you may not think life changing innovation.  From its beginnings as a class project, Xogo has emerged as an innovation with a broad range of uses.   This technology interface product enables people easier access to and control of home electronics.

As the Xogo technology matures, its potential uses have expanded.  If you know someone who gets frustrated with technology in the home, consider Xogo.  It simplifies and streamlines home electronics.  Bansen Labs has created an accessible innovation that opens new worlds to people.

To learn more about Bansen Labs and Xogo, visit myxogo.com and www.facebook.com/myxogo.

Direct download: Gaming_and_Beyond_Accessible_Innovation_S13_Ep50.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 6:59am PST

Innovation can spring out of ideating beyond your own needs.  Look to others’ challenges to shine a light on prime areas for innovation.  Innovation can also come from dire need.  Both cases push innovators to ask questions.  What can I do to make this better?  Can innovation through collaboration improve or accelerate the process?

Overdue Innovation

John Chang, co-founder of Willow, discusses his solution to an overlooked problem.  A mechanical engineer, John had the technical background.  But the conversation with his wife about the challenges moms face launched Willow Pumps.

As part of a business incubator, John searched for areas of innovation.  The spark of an idea began with his wife’s input.  It became an innovation through collaboration with mothers – relatives, friends, business associates.  He asked these women “what are the unmet needs of mothers with babies.” 

[shareable cite="John Chang, Co-Founder of Willow"]The most gratifying result: knowing this product has helped women and babies. [/shareable]

The recurring theme: the breastfeeding pump is overdue for innovation.  The products on the market were bulky and noisy.  The basic design had not changed much since the pump’s development.  In designing the product, John focused on the target customer.   

Now available, the Willow pump is discrete, quiet, handsfree, and mobile.  The most gratifying result: this product has helped women and babies.

Learn more about Willow at www.willowpump.com.

Timing is Everything

On the battlefield getting the right product could be a matter of life or death.  The problem – long lead times for innovations.  As a soldier, Jay Rogers felt open sourcing and crowdsourcing could accelerate military vehicle innovations.  The faster turnaround would benefit the military.

Jay founded Local Motors to build upon this idea of innovation through collaboration.  His first success was the Rally Fighter, the world’s first crowdsourced vehicle.  It reached market within one year.  

Justin Fishkin is Chief Strategy Officer for Local Motors.  He is committed to impact investing and the environment.  The company mirrors these values.  At the core of Local Motors’ business are co-creation and microfactories.  A microfactory is small volume production in local markets.  This sustainable way of doing business has future impact.  Justin believes it “could solve the issues globalization may have caused in the early days of outsourcing.”

Local Motors’ innovations are a fusion of ideas from contributors in all walks of life.  The company exemplifies innovation through collaboration.  In a sense, Local Motors is bridging the local and the global communities.  Drawing innovative ideas from the far reaches of the world and bringing production down home to local communities.

  • Check out Local Motors’ Olli, a self-driving vehicle.  Watch it in action at CableLabs on Youtube.
  • Track the latest with Local Motors at Localmotors.com.  
  • Join the Local Motors innovators at the crowdsource platform Launchforth.io.
Direct download: Innovation_Through_Collaboration_S13_Ep49_UPDATED.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 9:00am PST