Early in my career one man who had a huge impact on me, my mentor Bob Davis, told me to pay it forward. As Killer Innovations kicks off Season 15 this week, we reflect on what it has meant to pay it forward. Challenging and encouraging others toward impactful innovation has been my passion. Kym McNicholas joins me on the show as we look back at the Killer Innovations evolution from simple podcast to syndicated radio show. Worth It Having enjoyed success as a career innovator, I decided in 2005 it was time to pay it forward by inspiring impactful innovation on a larger scale. I owe much of my success to the people in my life who have mentored me and led me in the direction for success. As my way of giving back to my mentors, I chose to encourage others in innovation. Jumping back to Season 1, the feedback from listeners all over the world for Killer Innovations has motivated me to keep going. Having an impact on people through their innovation journey is the impetus. Along the way, I’ve developed lasting friendships with many long-time listeners worldwide. Getting Started As podcasting emerged in late 2004, I began experimenting with it. The critical piece of technology enabling podcasting, the enclosure tag, allowed for media distribution. By March 2005, I jumped in with my first Killer Innovations episode. It was a bit like the Wild West. I modeled myself after Earl Nightingale, a motivational speaker whose tapes and cassettes inspired me. With a laptop and a microphone, I began the podcast from a hotel. That was the start of it. Making an Impact Then and Now One eye-opening comment I received in the first year of the show has stuck with me. It was from an avid listener whose son, a young listener of nine years old, took the inspiration to heart. He started taking items apart in the home to “innovate” them. That boy is now 23 years old and I would love to hear from him. I hope he’s doing creative and innovative things. Guests I’ve had an opportunity to talk to from across the country are doing impactful innovation. With the Mobile Studio, we’ve been stopping in small towns to find innovation in unexpected places. Guests in the past year from Fin Gourmet Foods are innovating in such unique ways on multiple levels. The workforce is one facet of that innovation - investing in the lives of people who need a second chance. [shareable cite="Kym McNicholas"]Some of the best innovators take those really big, calculated risks.[/shareable] Fin Gourmet Foods is a great example of how innovation doesn’t have to be tech or happen in Silicon Valley. Helping people innovate their own lives is impactful innovation at its best. Guests Who’ve Inspired Us Guests are an integral part of the show. As they share their innovation experience and lessons learned, we gain some valuable lessons. One guest who has inspired us is Noah Scalin. His strategy to spark creativity is another great example of impactful innovation. An artist based in Richmond, VA, Noah faced a creative block. To re-ignite his creativity, he started the Skull-a-Day project. Another guest who’s personally inspired me is Tom Fishburne. His on-point marketing themed cartoons show the power of creativity and influence. His impact on people through humor is amazing. Evolution of Killer Innovations From starting out in a hotel room to now rolling around in the Mobile Studio, Killer Innovations continues to grow and change. Kym recalls how she and I met - chasing the latest Tech at CES. Now the Mobile Studio, a fully equipped 44-foot custom bus, is my studio and office while on the road. In addition to the Mobile Studio, the show has gone from being fully funded by me to having sponsors. With the sponsorship, we are now able to pay it forward with ads for nonprofits such as Hacking Autism and Pioneer Education Africa. The community of listeners, like Chris Woodruff, continues to impact me and others. Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Recently, we created The Innovators Community. Open to anyone interested in innovation, it’s a place where people can share their ideas and ask for advice from others in the innovation game. Five Minutes to New Ideas Don’t fall into a rut repeating the same formula to solve every problem. You need fresh eyes. Look at things in a new light. This week’s Five Minutes to New Ideas will challenge you to use fresh eyes to find game-changing innovations. Glad you could join us for the kick-off of Season 15. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line.