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The 10 best innovation videos of all time

What are the best innovation videos ever recorded?

Really Good Innovation has analyzed YouTube videos related to Innovation in order to find the 10 best (most viewed) videos. The number of views is thereby used in order to make this list more objective. However, we stated our opinion for all of the videos below as well. Our favorite one is “The art of innovation”, which is number eight in this list. We focused on videos that give us some insights about how to innovate. We did not include videos that showcase examples of specific products or technology (the video of 71 most amazing innovations is included because it is not just promoting a single product) and we also excluded videos that are corporate marketing. Additionally, we only selected videos that were fully available in English.

Top 10 innovation videos of all time Number of views (as of October 2020)
#1 Better and Faster - Geremey Gutsche 11.432.388
#2 Where good ideas come from - Steven Johnson 5.288.766
#3 Business Model Canvas explained - Strategyzer 4.119.841
#4 How to make innovation and change happen - Jeremy Gutsche 3.779.025
#5 Creative thinking: how to get out of the box and generate ideas - Giovanni Corazza 3.022.490
#6 50 entrepreneurs share priceless advice - Blockshelf 2.894.106
#7 How to win the future - Jeremy Gutsche 2.810.390
#8 The art of innovation - Guy Kawasaki 2.330.155
#9 The 71 most amazing innovations of all time - AsapSCIENCE 2.195.484
#10 Charlie's Angels: Stimulating Innovation - Movieclips 1.982.155

In the following, we will give you a summary of each of the top 10 innovation videos, followed by an evaluation of the video based on comments, but also on our own opinion. 

1.   BETTER & FASTER: Innovation Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche's Top Speech on Innovation

When it comes to innovation videos on Youtube, Jeremy Gutsche rules. In the top 10 videos there are three from him and yes, he is definitely good in selling himself, but fact is that many people watch his videos. This video is about making the right choices by studying chaos. According to Gutsche, chaos creates predictable opportunities and these opportunities help you to be better and faster.

But how can you be better and faster? Gutsche focuses on two main points that he continuous to elaborate on during his video:

1)    He shows the traps that block you from realizing your potential

2)    He shows short cuts

According to him, one trap is for example that opportunities are often next to you and you overlook them anyways.

"Almost all innovation happens by making connections between fields that other people did not realize.” – Jeremy Gutsche

Another big trap is that it’s not just about having a good idea, but about making them happen. Often times people fail because they think that a good idea would be enough to be successful.Thereby, especially more experienced business owners fall into these common traps. Gutsche categorized these and other traps but also shows ways to avoid them. In order to be better and faster he suggests three shortcuts, which are to be insatiable, to be curious and to be willing to destroy.

In this video of Gutsche, the comment function is off. This means people can’t comment on his video, nor leave a like or dislike. We assume there is a reason for that, and he probably wants to avoid any negative comments connected to his videos. Despite this, Gutsche is definitely a good speaker and storyteller who uses very practical and engaging examples that the audience can relate to. On the other hand, it seems like he is trying to force his opinion on the audience. Gutsche thereby states big assumptions without showing a lot of data to back these up. To sum up, while it is obvious that Gutsche is very good in selling himself and his ideas, there are definitely some good learnings for innovators.

2.    Steven Johnson – where good ideas come from

This video by Steven Johnson is a condensed version of his book with the same name: Where Good Ideas Come From. In his 4 minutes video, Johnson explains that we need to be more creative in order for our organizations to be more innovative. The question is thus how can we be more creative and innovative? He thereby has an environmental perspective and the point of view is thus on external factors that influence creativity and innovation. For example, what are the spaces that lead to more creative and innovative ideas?

An important pattern that he mentions is the “slow hunch” idea, which says that good ideas often need time to evolve and are somewhere in the background for a long time. Only after “maturing”for some time, an idea might become accessible and useful.

A second aspect that he highlights is that ideas often come from smaller “hunches”, so from different people. Only when bringing people together and combining their ideas, the good ideas are born. According to Johnson, many people often have only half of an idea and we need to create systems to allow these different ideas to come together and turn into something bigger. He uses coffeehouses in the age of enlightenment as an example of such a system, as people would mingle there and exchange ideas. The increase of innovativeness of our society thus also comes with an increase in connectivity, and Johnson highlights that this enables us to combine other people’s ideas with our own.

Key takeaway: First of all you shouldn’t force innovation because sometimes it needs more time until the idea is mature. The second important takeaway is that even though social media and digital experiences are nowadays often seen as distracting and rather negative, they are also ways to connect with people from around the world and enable us to use ideas that other people have in order to improve our own ideas.

In the comments of the video, viewers are very excited, both about the content but also about how the video was made! If you wonder as well how the video was made, it is probably the combination of a drawing artist and a time-lapse effect. The video is simple and short, yet insightful and with clear takeaways. 

3.    Business model canvas explained

How can you describe your business model? In this very short 2-minute video, Strategyzer, the inventors of the Business Model Canvas, explain the very basic idea of this canvas with its nine building blocks. The canvas can be used both by entrepreneurs and by senior executives in a corporation to discuss and reinvent business models.

The different building blocks are here shortly explained:

Customer segments: all the people for which the organization is creating value

Customer relationships: outlines the kind of relationships you are establishing with your customers

Value proposition: shows all the product and services and how they create value for your customers

Key Activities: what you need to do in order perform well and to deliver your value proposition to the customers

Key Resources: the infrastructure to create, deliver and capture value, the assets that are indispensable for your business model, the resources you need in order to perform your activities

Key Partnerships: the people and organizations that can help you leverage your business model

Channels: the touch points over which you are interacting with customers in order to deliver your value proposition

Revenue Streams: how and through which pricing mechanisms your business model is capturing value

Cost Structure: once you understand the infrastructure, your activities and your required resources, it will be easier to understand the cost structure of your business as well

Viewers of the video comment that it is a very quick and precise overview of what a business model canvas shows. The visualization is nice, however the music in the background is rather distracting.

The speaker is not very engaging but clear in her choice of words and easy to follow. While this video gives a great explanation and visualization of what a business model should include, it does not go into depth and if you are looking for more explanations on how to apply the canvas, this video could be very useful:

Also, you can find our own version of the canvas as a free to download template here with further explanations on how to use it: Get your free template here.

4.    HOW TO MAKE INNOVATION & CHANGE HAPPEN: Innovation Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche on How to Innovate

This is the second video of Jeremy Gutsche in our top 10 list and it addresses how to concretely make innovation happen. In a very engaging manner and with good storytelling, Gutsche talks about our reluctance to change. He says that we are more dependent on our past decisions than we like to think and that we always try to stay on “the path”. Everyone wants innovation to happen but when it comes to actually changing things, many people are hesitant.

Gutsche structures his video along the following five points:

-       Subtlety of disruption

So many big breakthroughs are really hard to see! And if we don’t see these possible disruptions, our competitor will maybe see them. Western Union for example rejected Bell when he came with the idea of the telephone because they did not see its value. Especially successful people often miss out on these innovations because they are too confident. Most people overestimate their level of control (e.g. how good of a driver they are). In order to make innovation happen you should therefore assume that you are wrong, you should be open to new ideas and welcome people who think differently.

-       Neurological shortcuts

Anything we do the first time doesn’t come naturally (e.g. driving a car) but then we make neural connections and our brain becomes better and faster at doing this process. But everything that slightly deviates seems very awkward. In order to enable our brains to deviate from things we know, we have to bring teams together or track trends in different markets in order to have a new focus.

-       Traps of success

Things that were once successful are hard to change. Gutsche uses the example of the QWERTY keyboard that is still mostly used today. Even though new keyboards have been developed that would allow us to type 20% faster, people wouldn’t just switch. Also, it’s always easier to say no to things because than it stays with the status quo. In order to avoid traps of success, Gutsche encourages to always stay curious, to ask outsiders for options and to actually simulate what you would do if you had to start completely from scratch.

-       Optionality

Optionality means that certain options will lead to new options in the future. According to Gutsche, you should therefore try to always have a high optionality. This can be done for example by giving permission to fail, as it gives more freedom to try things out. Also, you should push limits to try out options that might otherwise not be there.

-       Discomfort

His point here is that you basically have to put yourself into a position of discomfort to create disruption. You have to be ok with that uncertainty because otherwise you won’t succeed.

Same as the first video, this one is also very intense, with a fast-paced speaker who is full of energy. Comments are this time enabled and many viewers enjoy his content. It is however not possible to view likes and dislikes of others.

Whether you like Gutsche or not, there are some good points in his talk. Key takeaways are for example that the way our brain is wired often inhibits us from deviating from a known path and thus to innovate. And even if we feel like we know it all, it is also good to remind ourselves that most of us are often too overconfident and we should listen more to other people, take other opinions into consideration and accept that we don’t know it all. Gutsche’s way of talking, using many examples, is extremely engaging. It can however be said that his speech is highly focused on entertainment and maybe the message could have been more condensed. Also, he summarizes things very rapidly, in order for people to then buy his books to get the details.

5.    Creative Thinking – how to get out of the box and generate ideas: Giovanni Corazza

This video is a TEDx talk by Giovanni Corazza, professor at the University of Bologna. He thereby asks the question: What do you do actually do when you think out of the box? How does it work? According to him, you need to practice that! How do you get outside? And how do you get back into the box?

The first question is why should you even go out of the box.

Why should you go out of where you feel comfortable? Is it really a necessity? The answer to that is yes: Thinking out of the box isa necessity as we otherwise only rely on what we already know and therefore would not be able to achieve any progress. But what is this box actually? The box is our knowledge, what we have learned and what we have experienced. Outside the box is everything we have not thought about.

So how do we go out of this box? In order to go beyond what we already know and in order to challenge our own ideas and convictions, we need convergent thinking. This means that we don’t focus on the thoughts that are close to us but focus on “long thinking” instead. We need to make associations, create metaphors and put things into a new context. All of this is necessary in order to cross the boarders to what we have not yet thought about. Also, we need to resist the temptation of directly going back into the box, into safety.

In the end it is key to not look for a single correct answer. When you find something that seems like a new idea, don’t kill it immediately yourself by thinking that this has probably been done before! Also, don’t be afraid of being too radical with a new idea. A new idea automatically challenges our environment and that is good. We need to ensure that we create supporting structures for this to happen, for example in organizations: allowing for divergent thinking in your organization to enable innovation is thus one key takeaway of this video. The other point is that you should systematically think of extreme cases of your idea in order to think outside the box.

We need to challenge our environment with our idea. If the environment punished mistakes we will never go out of the box. The system thus needs to allow relevant information to come in, people to think divergent.

While some critical comments say that the speech is rather boring, the message is really key and divergent thinking is so important for innovation. This is something we can all do ourselves but also something we can enable others to do by creating the right structures!

6.    50 entrepreneurs share priceless advice

As the title indicates, this video is a compilation of advice from 50 great entrepreneurs. This ranges from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, to Steve Jobs and to Guy Kawasaki, who’s video is ranked number eight in our list.

Here are some of the insights:

Many of the entrepreneurs talk about passion and emotional investment. Jeff Bezos for example says that you need to do something you are truly passionate about and also Steve Jobs says something similar, highlighting that you will otherwise give up along the way.

Steve Wozniak adds to that that you should do things for fun because that will make them much better than if you have to do them.

Daniel Ek of Spotify highlights the importance of challenging yourself and Guy Kawasaki says that you need to believe in things so much and make other people believe in it too, even before they exist.

Many of these entrepreneurs are extremely successful and watching this video can give you some inspiration on how to make sure that you are successful as well with your innovations! The compilation is great and in the description you can see, which entrepreneur talks at which minute, so you can also listen to specific people giving their advice.

7.    How to win the future - Innovation Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche's Speech on Change & Culture

This is Keynote Speaker Jeremy Gutsche’s third video in our list of most viewed innovation videos and this time he focuses more on how to change organizational culture to enable innovation. The talk is structured around five things that keep organizations away from change and from innovating. These aspects are similar to the ones in the first and second video. He does however give some new insights and new tactics on how to overcome these inhibitors.

The five points will be briefly outlined herewith some of his ideas on how to tackle them:

Neurological Shortcuts – our brain is wired in a way to avoid change / dangerous situations. In order to overcome this limitation, we need to actively leverage our curiosity, we should try to throwaway first ideas and look further and we need to kill our ego.

Learned Behavior – with things that you learn, you limit imagination. According to Gutsche you therefore need to actively try to be open by playing, by assuming that you are incorrect, orin an organizational context, by creating diverse teams.

Cultural Conformity – things are deeply rooted in our culture and are often hard to change. Gutsche gives the example of the Chicago Tribune newspaper and how they changed their culture in order to go a different path than many other newspapers in times of digitalization. He says that you therefore need to engage your team and force the discussion of possible alternatives.

Traps of Success – “we repeat what led to last year’s harvest”. Gutsche highlights that if something works, we always keep doing that. His example is Xerox, the photocopier business who had a computer before IBM or Apple but was too focused on their photocopiers to commercialize their new idea. In order to change this, we need to be curious and we need to be willing to destroy whatever we relied on so far.

Linear Thinking – we are not so good at exponential thinking. As change often happens exponentially Gutsche shows examples of how much change accelerated in different areas. We therefore need to track the change happening in the market, brainstorm about extreme cases that could happen in the future and thereby prepare possible scenarios of disruption.

In this third video, comments are enabled, and viewers seem to be excited about the content. The like and dislike function seems to be disables however, same as in his other videos. After watching several of Gutsche’s videos it gets a bit repetitive even though he still uses new examples and ways to engage the audience. Our recommendation would be to just watch one of them unless you really enjoy your style of talking and his examples. While Gutsche is great in advertising his books through his talks, he also got some good points and it is definitely worth having a look at his examples to see where possible limits to innovation lay.

8.    The art of innovation – Guy Kawasaki

In this video, former Apple employee, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and author Guy Kawasaki talks about the art of innovation.

He thereby highlights then key points that will be elaborated on in the following:

1.    The first point is to have the desire to make meaning and not the main desire to make money. You should determine how you can make meaning and how you can change the world. For example, Google wanted to democratize the access to information. The first step towards innovation is thus that you truly want to make something meaningful.

2.    The second point is to have a Mantra, so basically a couple words long explanation of why your meaning should exist. This is however not the same as a mission statement, as many corporates put it on their website. Instead, think of only 2 or 3 words that show exactly how you want to create meaning. Nike’s “just do it” is also not a Mantra but a Slogan.According to Kawasaki, their Mantra would be “Authentic athletic performance”.

3.    His third point is about your perspective. You shouldn’t try to stay on the same curve but to jump curves instead. This means that you shouldn’t try to make something 10% better, but you should try to jump to the next level. If you define yourself as what you are producing, you will never manage to make that jump. Keep focusing instead on what your key Mantra is and what the meaning is that you want to create and don’t be stuck with the solution.

4.    His fourth point is to "roll the DICEE". With this, Kawasaki means to create products and services that are Deep, Intelligent, Complete, Empowering and Elegant in order to create meaning. He thereby shows a lot of great examples of what he means with these keywords. For example, he mentions an intelligent car key that can be programmed to a certain speed limit in order to be safer. It is thus about imagining all the aspects that go beyond the basic functionality of a product. Also elegancy is an important aspect there, as it appeals to the emotions of a user and can add value in that way too.

5.    As a fifth point, Kawasaki tells innovators: “Don’t worry, be crappy”: don’t wait for the perfect product, ship revolutionary products that belong to the next curve even with imperfections. It is completely ok if your product has flaws in the beginnings. If you have something innovative, don’t try to make it perfect from the start but bring it out there and gather feedback so you can improve it further.

6.    Number six is to let 100 flowers blossom: at the start of an innovation you might believe you know all about your product and your customers, but you might quickly find out that this is not true and that customers use your product in ways you did not anticipate or that people use your product who you did not have in mind. Kawasaki’s takeaway here: don’t be proud, don’t think you know it all but listen to your customers and adjust to how they understand your product.

7.    The seventh point is to create something that polarizes people. Great products polarize people and you should not be afraid that some people don’t like what you’re doing because you are not doing it for everyone. Many great products, such as Apple’s products polarize and while many people love them, some people absolutely don’t. And that’s ok.

8.    Kawasaki’s eight advice: “Churn baby, churn”. In order to be a successful innovator, you need to be in denial and ignore who tells you that you can’t do things. Instead you should listen to everything people will have to say about it and then change small aspects and keep on evolving your product. Here is a great article about experimentation and failing in disruptive innovations. The key point is, if you go for disruption and change, not everything has to be perfect from the beginning, you just have to keep working on it.

9.    Number nine is about offering something that is both unique and valuable. You have to find a niche where you create value for your customers, while at the same time offering something truly unique that nobody else is offering.

10. The tenth point highlight the importance of preparing a perfect pitch. This is of course also due to Kawasaki’s background as a venture capitalist. Nevertheless, this aspect is key as you need to convince investors of your idea. He highlights that you should customize your introduction to the audience in order to catch them right away. Also, he mentions the rule to not use more than 10 slides, to be able to deliver your pitch in not more than 20 minutes and to use at least a 30-point font.

These points summarize according to Kawasaki “the art of innovation”. The comments below the video highlight how enjoyable and great this content is. And also for us, out of this top 10 list, this video is our personal favorite. This is because it is condensed with a lot of very valuable lessons for any innovator, shares many real-life examples and at the same time has a brilliant speaker who brings a good amount of humor to the stage.

9.    The 71 Most Amazing Innovations of all time

This video, sponsored by Bill Gates is all about showing the path of innovation through the history of mankind. The video says that the greatest ability possessed by humans is to innovate and to change the world around us in order to overcame obstacles we face.

From the formation of languages and the start of an agricultural society, all the way to the creation of modern satellites and space shuttles to explore the orbit, the video covers 71 different innovations. They thereby include things like the creation of sailing boats, which helped to explore our planet, the improvement of sanitation and the development of modern medicine to improve our lives and the development of modern production techniques.

The message at the end of the video is to support leaders who recognize the importance of public research programs that help us innovate in areas such as energy, information technology or public health. They video was uploaded in October 2016, so only shortly before the 2016 presidential elections in the United States, which could be a reason for this message at the end of the video. While this might be the reason for this video, it is however in our eyes important to sometimes look back at all the innovations in our history as human beings, as we might learn a lot from those. While this list of 71 innovations is definitely by far not exhaustive, it does show some of the key pillars of our modern world. And the video is right that innovation is one of the aspects that distinguish us and one of the aspects we should always foster.

Many of the comments in the video ask why one or the other aspect is not included. If you are interested, here is another article that highlights the 40 innovations that are in their view the most important: Find this article here.

But in the end the key message for us is that we need to keep innovating to create value for our society as a whole. We still got many problems such as hunger, poverty, climate change or deforestation. As we created all of these issues, we need to keep innovating in order to find better ways to live together and to live on our planet.

To see more current innovations, check out this podcast with key innovations of the year 2019.

10. Charlie's Angels (3/8) Movie CLIP - Stimulating Innovation (2000) HD

You might ask yourself, what is a sequence from the movie “Charlie’s Angels” doing in this list of best innovation videos? Well, the video does have more than 2 million views and fora good reason, as it highlights a key aspect for innovation: how to empower your employees to innovate inside your organization.

“Smart, simple and logical innovations”. That’s what Alex (in the movie played by Lucy Liu) is looking for. And as she rightly points out, the employees build the products of the company so they should also have the possibility to bring up their own ideas and implement them. What does it mean to listen to your employees and to give them space to co-create innovation? What is the connection between innovation and employee satisfaction?

Often times strategy is managed top-down and employees are told what to work on. This drastically reduces their own imagination. Some companies have therefore started to give their employees part of their working hours in order to work on their own projects. This seems to be a great way to motivate employees and to ensure their creativity supports the company. One great way to foster this is to enable the collaboration between employees from various departments. One idea leads to more ideas and the more you enable people in your organization to speak up and share ideas, the more it will allow others to contribute. A great way to do this is also to use digital innovation tools such as Ideanote, where everyone in the company can submit their ideas and work together.

While many viewers were mostly excited about the movie and the scene itself, the takeaway to empower your employees is key for innovation and should be considered much more by many companies.

This was our list of top 10 innovation videos of all times (most viewed). We have used the parameter of views in order to be more objective, as of course opinions might vary on which are actually the best innovation videos. There is definitely a nice variety in our top 10 list and some great learnings for both managers and entrepreneurs. If you have other suggestions for great innovation videos, please feel free to send us an email at hello@reallygoodinnovation.com or simply join our Slack channel and discuss this question with other innovators!

What is your favorite innovation video of all time?