This week marks 30 years since I sat down with Tim Riker and incorporated Eureka! Ranch. In the beginning the company was called Richard Saunders International - in honor of Ben Franklin’s pen name when he wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac. Our initial office and the location for Eureka! Sessions was the basement of our home. Our funding source was three credit cards plus my wife working double shifts at the hospital. People often ask did you have any idea it would turn out as it has? The honest answer is no and yes. No I could not have imagined what a ride it's been. But YES I always felt that wonderful things would happen if we believed in the power of never ending learning (stimulus), learning from others (diversity) and rapid experimentation (drive out fear).
This weekend I reflected on the journey. Among my reflections…
• SURPRISE - My overwhelming feeling is one of surprise that it’s been 30 years. It definitely doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I guess that’s what happens when you are immersed in something that you really love. It just doesn’t feel like work. Time stands still. Life is good.
• PRIDE - What I am the most proud of is that, even after 30 years, the Ranch team “walks the talk.” We truly live what we teach, what I write in my books and what we recommend to clients. When I was at P&G it frustrated me that many who came to pitch their expertise “preached but didn’t practice.” I am very proud to be able to say without reservation that never ending innovation is a core value of our culture.
• Be it the Innovation Engineering Curriculum - 80%+ of which was upgraded this year
• Be it the InnovationEngieeringLabs.com3.0 - 80%+ upgraded in past 12 months
• Be it our patents in Compression Aging of Whiskey - 18 year taste in 40 Minutes
• Be it our patents in New Pizza ovens, Wood Fired Grills or Education Systems
A CEO said last week that the fact that we live what we teach provides “serious street cred” But that’s not why we do it - we do it because it’s so much FUN!
• AWE -A consequence of never ending innovation is exponential improvement in the quantity and quality of ideas that are created and commercialized. The ideas are genuinely Meaningfully Unique - they are bigger, bolder and braver. I just pulled up some concepts written 30 years ago. UGH. In retrospect they look amateur. They are filled with “hype” and little substance. Today - with tour focus on deeper stimulus mining, patents, rapid research cycles, etc -- we are at a new level of innovation.
• SADNESS - Another consequence of never ending innovation is that people “opt out” along the journey. Their personal path and our new path are not always the same. This is ok, however it’s still makes me sad. I miss those wonderful people. To those not with us now, on our current trajectory, I say thank you - and you should know you are never forgotten. Where we are now would not have been possible without your energy and wisdom.
• RESPONSIBILITY - I feel a great responsibility to teach others as I was taught. 30 years ago I was blessed with many mentors Ross Love, Andy VanGundy, George Prince and Copthorne MacDonald to name a few. Sadly, they have all passed away. With each passing I feel even more responsibility to pass along what they gave to me.
• EXCITEMENT - The work we are doing with system driven innovation is so much fun often I can hardly sleep. Every week I continue to be amazed at what new and wonderful systems, tools and curriculum elements are being discovered, developed and shipped. The work of the incredible Ranch Team - the IE Network and IE Movement on and off campus are beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
• THANKS - As a small token of thanks — to the millions who have participated in Eureka! Sessions, Innovation Engineering Classes, read my books, watched the TV or Radio programs that I’ve had the honor of being a part of we have set up some special offers that make it easier for new people to join the movement and for those who are part of the movement to grow their number of trained people.
The special offers are for Innovation College. It’s a five day immersive experience were we cover 4 college courses in five days. It is the collective learnings of 30 Years of Eureka! Ranch inventing + the world’s largest qualitative R&D project on innovation systems ever undertaken.
We have 30th Anniversary special offers for…
• Current Innovation Engineering community members
• Old Eureka! Inventing participants & Readers of my 6 books
• Those New to Innovation Engineering & the Eureka! Ranch
It’s a small way to SAY THANK YOU during our 30th anniversary year.
To learn more call Lydia Carson at 513 509-6405.