ValueCheck! — MIT Media Lab’s Prof. Ito’s smart POV on Innovation
By Şükran Ceren Salalı, Value Communication Fellow
“Don’t be a futurist, be a now-ist!”
Prof. Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab
Prof. Joi Ito, the (creative) Director of MIT Media Lab, made a fascinating speech which was presented at an official TED Conference. Thanks to Prof. Ito, Business Innovation process got one of its best explanations. During his talk, Ito drew attention to various facts about the transformation of internet as an innovative business tool in today’s world based on his own experiences and many examples.
He started with talking about the times when to get MBA was very important and also the time we do not have internet, what Ito calls it as “Before Internet” (BI), people mostly hired MBA’s, spent a lot of money and created their products and services. Nowadays, it is possible to create such new businesses and to get connections in a different, fast and more cost efficient way. Prof. Ito showed how the do it in China, where they don’t demo new products on websites and PPT charts, they just deploy it on-the-fly.
“Traditional rules of institutions do not work anymore”
In a good sense of humor, Ito also criticized the education system we are in. According to him, education is what people do to you and learning is what you do to yourself. One of our favorite parts of his talk is when he said is what you need to learn is how to learn.
In the age of working with machines which are able to do the same work that is done by many workers in a factory, innovation is, as Prof. Ito remarked, democratic, chaotic, and hard to control. Therefore, traditional rules of institutions do not work anymore.
Taking the no-more-practical traditional rules into consideration, Prof. Ito highlighted various different principles in order to benefit from transformation and innovation in a better way. For instance, he gave “power of pull” as an idea of pulling resources from the network as you need them rather than stocking them in the center and controlling everything. It sounds very practical and smart in order to catch the spirit of innovation.
“Key to success: being connected, always learning”
In the end of this charming and smart speech, Prof. Ito summarized what he wanted to say by these excellent sentences:
“… even though the world is extremely complex, what you need to do is very simple. I think it’s about stopping this notion that you need to plan everything, you need to stock everything, and you need to be so prepared, and focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware, and super present. — So I don’t like the word ‘futurist’. I think we should be ‘now-ists’, like we are right now.”
Our Take: Thank you for leading us to think from this wonderful perspective, dear Prof. Joi Ito!
What we have been trying to explain so far via our blog posts regarding ValueCheck! and how it works is very well fits the talk of Prof. Joi Ito. In the age of digital transformation, getting rid of analogue ways of thinking and trying to be more present “at the moment” with a high attention to our relations with other humans and the environment we live in are very important age to adapt new trends of business life. Let’s give it a try… ValueCheck! helps you to catch the spirit of becoming now-ists!