Rules of Innovation: Where Big Ideas Come From

Investing in big ideas, innovation and team structure can determine the success of a corporation or organization for years to come. On this week’s episode of World Reimagined, Nasdaq speaks to two best-selling authors – one a physicist-founder of a biotech company and the other a startup founder and entrepreneur – about how to best encourage these scenarios.

How do you find the next big idea — one that will change business or the world? As the main forces of R&D have moved out of government offices and into private businesses, many organizations lack the structure to properly engage them. How can companies encourage innovation and growth in our fast-moving world? What organizational changes can be implemented to create a structure that nurtures sky-high, implausible ideas that challenge conventional wisdom and lead us to our next innovation revolution?

In this episode, Gautam Mukunda speaks with two best-selling authors and entrepreneurs. The physicist founder of a biotech company, Safi Bahcall, and author, investor, and startup CEO, David Kidder describe how to organize your teams and methods for a breakthrough.

I’m a huge believer in structure. Regardless of whether a company desires growth or not, most efficiency-driven, short-termism-driven cultures — I like to refer to them as the big to bigger — really are at war with growth in their incentive. The talent, the structure, and the models are not designed in any way to create growth as a natural order of their management. Trying to do innovation or disruption anywhere inside or near it is literally a fool’s errand.

David S. Kidder

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Books Referenced in World Reimagined Episode 8:

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries, by Safi Bahcall

New to Big: How Companies Can Create Like Entrepreneurs, Invest Like VCs, and Install a Permanent Operating System for Growth, by David Kidder and Christina Wallace

Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance, by Gary P. Pisano and Willy Shih

Leading Without Authority: How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration, by Keith Ferrazzi

Nabokov books

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman, by Richard P. Feynman, Michelle Feynman

Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography, by Janet Browne

World Reimagined Guest Information – Rules of Innovation:

Safi Bahcall is a physicist, a former public-company CEO, the founder of a biotechnology company specializing in cancer drugs, and the author of Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries. An instant WSJ bestseller, Loonshots has been translated into 18 languages; selected as a best business book of the year by Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc., the Washington Post, and others; and recommended by Bill Gates, Daniel Kahneman, Ed Catmull, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and Malcolm Gladwell. Loonshots was the #1 most recommended book of the year in Bloomberg’s annual survey of CEOs and entrepreneurs.

Safi received his BA summa cum laude from Harvard, completed his Ph.D. in physics at Stanford, and served for three years as a consultant at McKinsey and Company. In 2001, he co-founded Synta Pharmaceuticals. He led the company’s IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama’s council of science advisors (PCAST) on the future of national research. Safi currently advises CEOs and leadership teams on strategy and innovation and is working on his next book. He lives with his wife and two children in Cambridge, MA.

David S. Kidder is an entrepreneur and an angel investor in over 40 companies. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Bionic, a company that unlocks new growth for the world’s most competitive enterprises by leveraging the mindsets and methodologies of venture capital and entrepreneurship. Previously, he served as the co-founder and CEO of venture-backed startups Clickable and co-founded SmartRay Network. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, he received Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. He is the creator and co-author of two-time New York Times bestselling series The Intellectual Devotional, The Startup Playbook and his latest book, New To Big, published in April 2019 with Penguin Random House. David can be found across all social platforms at @davidskidder and at and