Innovation! Innovation! Innovation! I am going to be attending the Seattle Innovation Symposium (Sept 13-14), hosted by the University of Washington. The goals of the symposium are (1) to come up ideas of new billion dollar industries, and (2) to find ways to shrink the innovation cycle, i.e. from ideas to market. Here is my two cents on innovation. I split innovation into two phases – the invention and the commercialization. Inventing calls for breaking old ways of thinking. In order to innovate we must be able to question fundamental assumptions, confront the obvious in novel ways, and synergize multiple sources of expertise. Once we have invented, we must then begin the commercialization process. Here, you must have a structured, optimized, and tested methodology in place. Inventions are the loose and creative bits, commercialization of inventions needs to be structured and optimized.