200 episodes

An award-winning podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create they're game-changing product or service.

Phil McKinney and his guests share real-world practical advice on how to harness the power of creativity and design to create ideas that turn into innovations that radically improve your personal, career and business success.

The show is hosted by Phil McKinney, retired CTO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and author of Beyond The Obvious.

The complete backlog of content (going back to 2005) is available at http://killerinnovations.com. Follow Phil on Facebook at http://bit.ly/phil-facebook and Twitter at http://twitter.com/philmckinney

Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney - A Show About Ideas Creativity And Innovation Phil McKinney

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 75 Ratings

An award-winning podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show that looks at the innovations that are changing our lives and how their innovators used creativity and design to take their raw idea and create they're game-changing product or service.

Phil McKinney and his guests share real-world practical advice on how to harness the power of creativity and design to create ideas that turn into innovations that radically improve your personal, career and business success.

The show is hosted by Phil McKinney, retired CTO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and author of Beyond The Obvious.

The complete backlog of content (going back to 2005) is available at http://killerinnovations.com. Follow Phil on Facebook at http://bit.ly/phil-facebook and Twitter at http://twitter.com/philmckinney

    Unlocking the Door to Innovation

    Unlocking the Door to Innovation

    Embarking on becoming an innovation consultant is an adventure fraught with challenges and opportunities. The question that often arises is: What kind of experience does diving into the depths of innovation consulting require? Breaking into this highly competitive field necessitates a blend of academic knowledge and real-world practice. Still, the pathway is less about a set timeframe and the rich experiences gained, opening the door to innovation.

    The Power of Apprenticeship: Learning by Doing

    Consider the apprenticeship — the age-old tradition of learning by doing —the key to unlocking latent potential. Aligning with a mentor, someone whose accomplishments you respect and aspire to emulate, becomes vital. Through this alliance, the transfer of wisdom is not merely academic but vibrantly alive, fertilized by the flow of ideas born of actual projects and commercial undertakings.

    Years vs. Experience: Redefining Success in Innovation

    Is there a magic number of years required for mastery, or does the variety and depth of experience trump the span of time? What if success in innovation is not just about the ideas you conceive but also about your capacity to shepherd those ideas through the stages of development to execution?

    This pursuit of innovation is not for the faint-hearted. It's for those willing to be tenacious, invest time and effort, and repeatedly return to the forge of creation. So, are you ready to unlock the door?

    Real-world Experience: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

    Venturing into the startup arena is daunting, with roughly 90% failing within their first year. Strikingly, the restaurant industry shares a similar fate, where 60% do not celebrate their first anniversary. Combining these two volatile worlds, as Fisayo has done with Resactly, is a brave endeavor — a testament to her passion and tenacity.

    The Role of Internships and Apprenticeships

    Is two years the minimum requirement for mastery, or can internships and apprenticeships be tailored to individual needs? Not everyone can commit to a two-year apprenticeship, but real-world experience is crucial. Find someone you admire, someone who has the experience, and be part of all aspects of innovation, from ideation to execution.

    Unlock the Door to Innovation Consulting

    In conclusion, the journey to becoming an innovation consultant is personal. Whether through internships, apprenticeships, or hands-on experience, the key is to immerse yourself in the world of innovation. Acquiring the hard knocks of real-world experience is essential, and this practical knowledge sets you apart. Once you've gained this experience, you can confidently unlock the door to innovation and share your insights with the world. So, are you ready to take that first step?

    To learn more about unlocking the door to innovation, listen to this week's show: Unlocking the Door to Innovation.

    • 12 min
    Startup Stories: Resactly’s AI Meets Gastronomy

    Startup Stories: Resactly’s AI Meets Gastronomy

    In the convergence of gastronomy and technology, Fisayo Oluwadiya stands at the forefront, embodying the fusion of engineering, culinary artistry, and entrepreneurship. This week, our conversation delves into her brainchild, Resactly, a pioneering AI-powered restaurant recommendation system that promises to reshape how we navigate the culinary landscape.

    A Palatable Blend of Passions

    Fisayo, an engineer, food writer, and entrepreneur, breaks the mold of a conventional techie. She ingeniously intertwines her love for coding and gastronomy, giving birth to Resactly, a web application poised to revolutionize how we experience and explore food. The synergy between these seemingly disparate worlds sparks a delectable journey into the future of dining.

    Resactly: A Gastronomy Navigator

    At its core, Resactly transcends the conventional boundaries of restaurant recommendations. It's a guide and a gastronomic companion, utilizing AI to tailor suggestions based on individual preferences and dietary requirements. Have you ever felt misled by subjective restaurant reviews? Resactly emerges as a beacon of objectivity, akin to a trusted friend who comprehends your palate intricately.

    The platform's innovation doesn't halt at recommendations; it seamlessly integrates with restaurants, ushering in a new era of culinary understanding. This elevated interaction between users and establishments signifies a monumental leap forward, surpassing the limitations of traditional methods and embracing a more nuanced, user-centric approach.

    The Journey from Idea to Culinary Innovation

    Venturing into the startup arena is daunting, with roughly 90% failing within their first year. Strikingly, the restaurant industry shares a similar fate, where 60% do not celebrate their first anniversary. Combining these two volatile worlds, as Fisayo has done with Resactly, is a brave endeavor—a testament to her passion and tenacity.

    Reflecting on Fisayo's journey from ideation to innovation, our conversation parallels my entrepreneurial ventures. I share my narrative of initiating 13 startups on credit cards, culminating in a triumphant IPO. The emphasis lies on the driving force of innovation – passion. It's the unwavering commitment that propels ideas into transformative realities.

    Navigating Entrepreneurial Challenges

    In the entrepreneurial arena, challenges are inevitable. For Resactly, securing funding emerged as a significant hurdle. Fisayo, however, candidly shares these realities, offering a transparent look into the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. This openness underscores the resilience required to navigate the unpredictable landscape of startup ventures.

    The Future of Gastronomy: A Glimpse

    In conclusion, our conversation serves as a captivating peek into the future of food technology. It illuminates the transformative role of AI in enhancing our dining experiences, emphasizing the indispensable role of passion in propelling innovation forward. Fisayo's call for early-stage tech exploration and user feedback is a poignant reminder that we all play a part in shaping this exciting future.

    As we embark on this gastronomic journey, let's actively contribute to Resactly's evolution. Join us in testing Resactly and be part of the culinary revolution. Visit www.resactly.com and indulge in the future of personalized dining experiences.


    To learn more about the convergence of technology and food, listen to this week's show: a href="http://traffic.libsyn.com/philmckinney/Startup_Stories_-Resactlys_AI_Meets_Gastronomy.

    • 42 min
    Spotting Fake Innovation Consultants

    Spotting Fake Innovation Consultants

    In the ever-evolving realm of innovation, a troubling trend is emerging—the rise of self-proclaimed experts with credentials as insubstantial as the pages of the very innovation books they often quote. This prompts us to question whether an individual can genuinely be considered an expert in a multifaceted field based solely on theoretical knowledge or if authentic, hands-on experience is the true differentiator. This discussion inevitably leads us to scrutinize the credibility and legitimacy of those who dub themselves innovation consultants, especially the troubling rise of fake innovation consultants.

    Theory vs. Practice: Bridging the Divide

    Consider this staggering yet simple truth: the cost of ignoring experience in favor of theoretical expertise can be measured not just in failed businesses but in human lives.

    Consider the concept of expertise not as a trophy won through academic pursuits but rather as a medal forged in the fire of real-world experience. It's about being in the trenches, not just analyzing the battlefield from a safe distance. This disconnect between knowledge and practice is alarming, especially when the stakes involve steering companies toward innovation.

    The Glaring Gap: McKinsey's Settlement as a Cautionary Tale

    Reflect on the example of new MBAs from prestigious firms like McKinsey, armed with the latest business theories but lacking the scars of battle that only hands-on experience can provide. The gap between theory and practice becomes glaringly apparent, as well as illustrated by McKinsey's hefty settlement over their consulting practices linked to the opioid crisis, proof that theoretical expertise can lead to real-world consequences.

    Expertise in Innovation: A Surgical Precision Approach

    It is necessary to ask the hard-hitting question: would you trust a surgeon who has only learned their craft from textbooks and has never held a scalpel? The medical community unanimously dismisses such a scenario—shouldn't we apply the same rigorous experience standards to innovation?

    Innovation Through the Lens of Practical Wisdom

    As a consultant, I witnessed the profound impact of practical know-how. It shapes instincts, refines judgment, and brings a deep understanding of problem-solving that academia cannot replicate. To me, real-world experience is non-negotiable—it is the essence of expertise.

    Discerning Fake Innovation Consultants

    However, it's not all gloom, as authentic experts exist, those who can prove they've weathered the storm of innovation. These professionals bring invaluable insights and are worth the effort to find them. They've not just studied the map—they've journeyed the terrain and know the pitfalls and shortcuts.

    A study revealed that startups founded by those with relevant field experience were 350% more likely to grow and succeed than those led by purely academic trailblazers—a sobering reminder of what's at stake when we overlook the value of authentic experience.

    Therefore, when considering an innovation consultant, strive for genuine experience. Success in innovation is contingent upon the guidance of someone who has not merely witnessed the journey but has walked it, step by step, innovation by innovation. It's crucial to be led not by a theoretician with a polished resume but by a seasoned expert who has firsthand navigated the labyrinth of innovation. So, choose your innovation guide wisely—your innovation success depends on it. And beware of the pitfalls of relying on fake innovation consultants who may o...

    • 11 min
    7 Secrets to Innovation Success

    7 Secrets to Innovation Success

    Laws exist to keep some form of order or control such as the traffic laws we follow to avoid chaos as we drive around. There are a variety of laws that exist. Scientific laws are laws that we can test and prove, and we can reconfirm that the law still applies. An example would be the law of gravity that always exists.

    There are also other kinds of laws that we use in the context of business terms. In this case, those laws are observed and validated over extended periods of time. We can test them, predict from them, and see if those predictions are true. A perfect example of a law used in business is Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors on semiconductors will double about every 18 to 24 months. This law has been in place since the 60s and is continuously validated. In the realm of business, the adherence to laws governing innovation success is crucial for companies aiming to thrive and stay ahead in the dynamic market landscape.

    “Innovation is not just about birthing ideas; it's about breathing life into them. Astonishingly, only 1 in 3000 ideas actually get executed, making the journey from notebook to reality a true rarity.”

    There are some things that people mistake as laws that are actually rules of thumb. Rule of thumb is an anecdote that is based on personal experience or some lore that has been passed down. One of the most prevalent rules of thumb is the 8020 rule, which says that 20% of your actions generate 80% of the results. For example, 20% of your customers generate 80% of the revenue, or 20% of your trouble tickets generate 80% of your truck rolls. What is interesting, though, is that this rule has been proven to be not very sound. Rules of thumb are good to identify if there is a problem. It is an early test to see if there's something that you can narrow down to find a problem that you can work on, but a rule of thumb is not a law.

    Laws of Innovation

    The laws of innovation have been observed and validated for over 30 years by successful people. They are not a rule of thumb. These laws are proven and tested for effective innovation.  I will be specifically covering the seven laws of innovation.

    Law of Leadership

    The first law for successful innovation is the law of leadership. Good leadership is a foundational necessity. High-quality leaders prioritize innovation and show it through their actions. Leaders do not only fall in the executive leadership category such as the CEO or the owners of a business. Leaders include everybody from lower-level team leaders to organization leaders. For example, if you are a project manager, you don't have people reporting to you, but you've been put in charge of a project to deliver. Therefore, the law of leadership applies to you. If innovation is important to you and as important to your organization, you must demonstrate it. The team will follow you based on what you model to your organization.

    Law of Culture

    Law number two is the law of culture. A lot of organizations focus more heavily on their strategy. They are trying to come up with the perfect strategy to achieve success. But culture is foundational. What I mean by foundational is that it lays the bedrock that everything else in the organization builds upon. If you do not have a well-defined culture, that foundation is weak. Without the ability to drive a program of innovation inside any organization, your team is going to fail. Specifically, around a culture of innovation, there are certain elements that you need to have in that culture such as the willingness to take risks and not penalize people for it. If team members try something and fail,

    • 17 min
    Exploring the Future of Home Automation with OliverIQ’s Will West and Eric Smith

    Exploring the Future of Home Automation with OliverIQ’s Will West and Eric Smith

    During CES 2024, the innovative products and concepts on display showed the exciting future of technology. OliverIQ debuted to the public with its unique home automation platform. This versatile solution streamlines the process of turning your home “smart.” Founders Will West, and Eric Smith presented OliverIQ as a solution that turns connectivity across devices into a service that caters to those looking to use technology as a helpful addition to their homes. In this episode, we delve into how West and Smith used out-of-the-box thinking to find a solution consumers didn’t know needed solving.

    Will West on OliverIQ

    Will West, CEO and Co-founder of OliverIQ, set out with a clear goal of bringing automation to the mainstream market. Producers in home automation were marketing more toward the high-income consumer while the average household could not enjoy the same benefits. With installation and maintenance fees inflated, there was a need for a streamlined and cost-effective service for the everyday user. After decades of perfecting, we created OliverIQ to break down these barriers. With OliverIQ, your smart devices, such as doorbells, lights, and speakers, work together to create an enjoyable experience for you, the consumer. Not only are your devices connected to a user-friendly platform, but any problems your devices face can be fixed by servicing agents through the app with a simple call to around-the-clock agents. This practical solution takes the hassle away from the consumer.

    “By 2025, the average American home will contain 500 smart devices, transforming even the simplest of daily routines into a futuristic experience. Think about it. In a world wired for connection, your home is just one ‘Hey Siri' away from becoming your personal assistant.”

    If you have a problem with plumbing in your home, you would call a plumber, and OliverIQ takes a similar approach in their product strategy. When issues arise with your home devices, instead of you having to take care of them or find a willing installation company to fix the problem, OliverIQ will find a way to fix the problems of multiple devices for you. Technology lovers design OliverIQ for technology lovers. It brings convenience, efficiency, and enjoyment into the lives of everyday people at an affordable price.

    Eric Smith on OliverIQ

    CTO and fellow Co-founder Eric Smith combined his decades of experience in research and knowledge in the automation field to perfect OliverIQ. He faced challenges as unique problems arose with the ever-changing tide of technology. He realized one glaring problem in the home automation arena. Due to automation decay—the natural process of devices experiencing problems such as glitches, going offline, or undergoing updates—users constantly find themselves fixing multiple devices in the home. Usually, the fixing falls to the user to figure out. There needed to be a way for these devices to be maintained simultaneously on a more significant level. There needed to be consistency and a higher level of performance. OliverIQ found the solution to home automation problems by looking at the channels used to solve this problem and finding a way to integrate multiple technologies across one platform.

    Consumers don’t need to find an installer willing to fix the problem because the tech support channel takes care of the problem. Users also don’t need to worry about technology not working together or a device having problems. OliverIQ streamlines multiple devices and brands to work together smoothly to provide the home experience you want by setting the lights to a specific sh...

    • 43 min
    2024 Innovation and Trends to Watch

    2024 Innovation and Trends to Watch

    The world of innovation is wildly fascinating and constantly developing. At the CES conference in Las Vegas, some of innovation's biggest names display their newest creations for the world to see. The fact that any one of these creations could develop into a groundbreaking innovation with global reach is exciting. This year, innovations varied from entertainment to transportation, with predicted tech trends affecting inventions in all these areas.

    Standout Innovations

    TVs and display screens constantly develop as companies seek to upgrade their products with bigger screens and clearer resolutions. Samsung and LG both announced their latest contributions with the potential for use in marketing for businesses and the entertainment industry.

    Transparent Displays

    LG's groundbreaking announcement of its transparent displays generated significant interest. There are various potential uses for transparent displays in many fields. One such use is marketing in businesses. Using a transparent display to advertise a product in a store-front window would allow customers to see a snapshot of the store's most eye-catching product while also being able to see beyond the store's advertisement into the store. Transparent displays can be used in unexpected situations, making them all the more unique.

    Larger Screens

    Screens on different devices have progressively gotten larger over the years. With a 180-inch screen displayed at the convention, it is hard to see how a large screen would be practical for viewing in the average house. However, companies are not just making displays for the intended purpose of watching movies or TV. A recent surge in the gaming industry has companies taking notes on improving their displays to target this audience better. The focus on size has shifted. Companies focus on improving color, size, and refresh rate so gamers can enjoy better posture, less eye strain, and better experiences.


    Innovations in transportation have evolved to heights that once seemed impossible. The idea of flying cars was a concept that seemed almost mythical for many years, but it is now something that could be obtainable soon. At CES, through a simulation, people could experience what it would feel like to be in a flying car. Bringing this experience to life infused it with an exciting outlook for the future of transportation.


    While robotics have found applications in various industries, from restaurants to factories, they have not yet become mainstream in households. Various companies have shown interest in robotics and have contributed to advances in that area. Work still needs to be done, but humanoid robots that can assist in households could be a sooner reality than we think.

    Predicted Trends for 2024

    With so many wonderful innovations on display this year, one can conclude three factors. The first is that every company appeared to use some form of AI. AI isn't as exclusive as it once was, so companies using AI must find other ways to differentiate themselves from each other. One such way that companies using AI can stand out is by investing in quality training data that is specific to their use cases. As AI becomes mainstream, companies must find ways to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant.

    The second trend is on most people's minds, from consumers to producers. The state of the economy has people worrying about employment and whether they will have funds to afford housing, food, and other necessities. Companies worry about whether consumers will be spending and willing to buy their newest products.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

ArlieLP ,

Killing it! 🎸

Phil and his wide variety of knowledgeable guests are truly rockstars! Truly can’t believe such high quality conversations are available for free. The excellent insights they provide and the relatable way they deliver it had me hooked from the very first listen. Thanks for putting out such a stellar show, Phil - keep up the great work!

Adarcus ,


No matter the topic, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every episode - can’t recommend Killer Innovations enough. 🙌 This show is a listening MUST!

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Phil, host of the Killer Innovations podcast, highlights all aspects of innovation and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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