A no-nonsense quick guide to Corporate Innovation.

Dear CEO,

You’re tired of buying companies started by ex-employees who found a problem worth solving but didn’t have the time, mandate and support to solve it in-house.

Consequently, you initiate an “innovation unit” to build new biz and secure market position using your competitive advantage as an established player.

Instead, you end up producing expensive initiatives that are disconnected from the core business. Eventually, you devise an arbitrary PR- and branding value or simply close it down and write off the expenses.

Along the way you discovered that current employees;

  • Don’t like change
  • Use their time and effort on stuff they’re measured…


Note to self on setting the foundation for a new business endeavour.

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Be helpful. Fuck haters. Throw fireballs.

Conditions

  • We only work on things we are passionate about.
  • We are here to pursue work that matters, to make the world better.
  • We believe that doing good is also good business.

Philosophy

  • We build best-in-class products and have fun along the way.
  • We keep it personal, talk eye-to-eye and always to-the-point.
  • We understand that customers come back for quality, excellent service and convenience.

People

  • We employ people who value a balanced and sustainable lifestyle and take time to enjoy life outside of work.
  • We look for a balanced sense of optimism and humility with a desire to make things better.
  • No micromanaging or top to bottom hierarchies. We give the freedom, responsibility and trust people need to thrive. …


You can’t outwork a bad strategy.

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“I should a/b test these button colours.” #no

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re starting an all-nighter to reach the bottom of your endless todo-list.

Big wins that actually push the business forward often come from changes in the way, you offer your product or understand your customers.

Getting the foundation right is crucial.


Learnings from once building a niche patient community online.

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1st result for “community” on Google Images. Nailed it!

Members

Authenticity is key. Keep it real and stay personal. Build a voice and tone guide that reflects how you talk and act.

Ask members, listen to their wants, and let the community feel that they are part of determining the direction and new features.

If building a community to a group that you’re not part of by nature, you should include community representatives in everything from overall concept to specific wording in your prototype.

Content

Member generated content IS the community. Find a way to create/hustle a decent amount of interesting content ready from day one.

It’s crucial that new members experience swift (positive) feedback from other members. Never leave a post unanswered. …


How to kickstart your battle against a life on mental auto-pilot.

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You’re holding the remote control, but are you really in charge?

The main obstacle to success is within ourselves. Mostly because we unconsciously mess it up while cruising through life.

Life is safe behind a screen checking newsfeeds all day. But it’s hard to make an impact if we merely follow the herd doing what other people expect.

Challenging our defaults and establishing new habits is tough. In the process, we make deals with ourselves that we can’t keep, and set ambitions that we do not fight for. We give up before we get started and find comfortable ways of losing.

We find ways of not failing because we’re afraid. Afraid of not being good enough or smart enough. We often think we need to be more skilled or more perfect. …


7 email newsletters that will give you a head start to awesomeness.

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Some dude reading amazing, incredible, badass stuff that no one else can think of.

Mainstream news is superficial clickbait and most often far too negative. Instead, my primary source of news and learning come from selected email newsletters, and a few favorite podcasts on a daily/weekly basis. I try to stay mean by staying lean.

Below are the most valuable newsletters hitting my inbox.

Mark Manson

This guy is Internet famous for good reason. Manson writes about big ideas and gives life advice that doesn’t suck. He brings a thoughtful to-the-point perspective and opinion on stuff like self-improvement, relationships, and making/breaking habits. Publishing sporadic weekly or bi-weekly emails plus selected extra content for paying site members. …


If time is money, why do you give it away so easily?

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Don’t worry. You’ve got time. Right?

People have a strange habit of preaching “time is money” while simultaneously wasting it on activities with instant relief instead of long-term gain.

More than often, you give away time as a free commodity.

I have colleagues who will pin me on the shoulder to get my attention when obviously wearing headphones concentrated on some task. I’m equally surprised and annoyed when asked; “Can I disturb you for two minutes?”.

My typical reaction leans towards half grumpy responses like; “Guess so, kind of too late at this point.” This answer usually gives perplex uncomfortable situations but points out the contradiction in asking to disturb. …


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But having a lion on your side isn’t such a bad idea.

I’ve been given the challenge to create digital products with a bigger meaning by joining LEO Innovation Lab as a Product Designer.

LEO Innovation Lab is kind of a startup-hub established by LEO Pharma as part of a long-term strategic decision to focus on patient’s needs.

We look at all the aspects of everyday life that can affect a person who has psoriasis, and the goal is to swiftly spark, test and bring innovative digital products to market.

While new technologies will surely be setting the agenda for healthcare in the future, it’s also a pretty brave agenda that I believe will impact many people’s life. …


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There’s a successful tech product waiting to be discovered behind every c-level name tag.

Corporate organizations often have a hard time attracting people to innovate and expand within digital areas. Today’s tech talent is in love with startups. They frown upon the established, the experienced, the profitable.

And for good reason. Large organizations have structural challenges. They can’t get stuff done, because they are unable to take quick decisions. They lack speed.

But established organizations have something most startups don’t:

  • Business insights that highlight challenges no outsiders know of
  • Existing clients and distribution power

Combining these advantages with a startup mentality create superb opportunities for building products that impact business.

An innovative organization needs to be fast, nimble and responsive. That’s why startups are able to move fast and ship things. …


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Are you creating truly useful products or just pushing pixels?

I believe that startups with a designer among the co-founders have a much better chance of being successful. Not only because it’s important to build good looking well-branded products, but merely because designers with a business mindset have better potential for creating truly useful products.

A co-founding designer knows business because by nature he will be involved in stuff like sales pitches, fundraising or market- and competitor analysis from day one. Opposite a “hired gun” pushing adorable designs instead of focusing on what the business need.

It goes a little something like this:

“What a magical design! Optimised for when users have added ten topics and their feed is filled with awesome content from all the other community members!” …

About

Lasse Gejl

Product designer, executor and angel investor. Co-founder of GoMore.

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