Inspiring Quotes About Innovation

At the end of The Everyday Innovator podcast, the interviewee shares a quote related to innovation. Here is a selection of my favorites.

Understanding the Problem

A problem well stated is a problem half solved. ~Charles Kettering, General Motors

Customers aren’t looking for a 1/4 inch drill, they are looking for a 1/4 inch hole. ~Ted Levitt

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem. ~Albert Einstein

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. ~Voltaire

Love the problem, not the solution.  ~Ash Maurya

Thinking Differently

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones. ~John Cage

I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious. ~Albert Einstein

Sometimes we focus on the door that has just closed, and miss the door that just opened. ~Braden Kelley

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. ~Edward de Bono

Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved. ~Walt Disney

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought. ~Albert Szent-Györgyi (discovered vitamin C)

Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way. ~Tom Freston

Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. ~Henry Ford

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. ~Albert Einstein

When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts. ~Larry Ellison

Being Customer-Focused

How will you know how to speak to your customers if you never speak to your customers? ~Will Evans

How will you know how to speak to your customers if you never speak to your customers?

There is only one boss, the customer. ~Sam Walton

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it. ~Steve Jobs

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. ~C.S. Lewis

There are three core skills at the heart of successful innovation: powerful questions, deep listening, and the ability to empathize. ~Chuck Appleby

Simplicity

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.  ~Antoine de St. Exupery

Any product that needs a manual to work is broken. ~Elon Musk

Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.

Any fool can make things bigger [and] more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. ~Albert Einstein

The Importance of Shipping

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. ~Reid Hoffman

Perfect is the enemy of good. ~Voltaire

Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshipped. ~Danny Gilbert

Persevering

Successful people aren’t afraid to fail. They’re afraid of not trying.  ~Dana A. Oliver

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. ~Zig Ziglar

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  ~Winston Churchill

The struggling moment is the seed of innovation. ~Bob Moesta

I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work. ~Thomas Edison

You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.  ~Art Fry (Post-it Notes creator)

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

No transformative innovation has had a return in the first year.  ~Mark Johnson, Innosight

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.  ~Henry Ford

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~Milton Berle

We are kept from our goals not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal. ~Robert Brault

We are kept from our goals not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.

Being Nimble

The degree of innovation in your company is inversely proportional to the number of signatures it takes to get the funding to try something different. ~Anonymous

And when the devil saw them making progress, he grinned, and invented committees. ~Todd Dewett

It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. ~Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Hopper (programming visionary)

Change before you have to.  ~Jack Welch

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