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INNOVATE WITH INFLUENCE: Tales of a High-Tech Intrapreneur Paperback – 22 Jun 2009
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- You don't have to work for a startup or Google to work on cutting-edge, cool stuff. In fact, in some cases, the big company can afford us with opportunities to innovate that we won't have elsewhere.
- Constantly be on the lookout for new and interesting products and technology within your company. If you hear about something new, set up a meeting with one of the leaders of that part of the organization. You may well find that you are the "glue" that brings together the technology you learned about last month with the technology you found out about today. Todd's 150+ patents tell us he knows what he's talking about here.
- Staying focused can be as simple as a sheet of paper or two. Todd keeps his lists of things due now, things due later, and things that might be interesting some day out on his desk. When he has a spare 5 minutes, he picks something off the list and continues working on it. This kind of focus lets him do the next item, which is:
- Go home at 5 every day. Although I didn't believe Todd actually goes home at 5 PM *every* day, the list of his considerable accomplishments outside of work back up his claim of protecting his work-life balance. When at work, Todd focuses on work.
A self-published volume, Todd would have done well to enlist an editor, but he writes in an easy style that feels light and genuine. A pleasant read well worth the price and time.
Steve's genuine method to bring ideas to their live incarnation is easy to understand and to follow. Firstly you need to make a reputation as a good performer (getting things done in time or earlier), then become an expert and a technical leader in your area of work. The last one stands for influence - without it any good idea will mostly get "yes, it's interesting! But now let's proceed to our real life work". Influence is very important ingredient for innovation. Another easy formula for making great ideas, Venn diagram, also is a prove of concept that everything in our world is interconnected, that solutions can come from different areas (adjacent technologies).
Throughout the book a variety of technologies and products from EMC are presented and explained. I would recommend this as a reference to storage system customers or technologists and certainly to thousands of EMC employees.
The concept of intrapreneur is as innovative as the author himself and I believe it will help engineers around the globe to look at their jobs from different, brighter and more interesting side.
Many thanks for the book!
PS. My favorite idea from this book is about leaving job at 5PM and working to live, not vice-versa :)
As an intrapreneur, Steve (and the book) don't concern themselves with a lot of theory, but instead on how you go about getting innovation done. And if you harbor the illusion that you have to burn the midnight oil to innovate, Steve has generated over 140 patent applications and billions of dollars in revenue for EMC from the solutions he has worked on, and still managed to leave at 5 o'clock along the way.