Today, we welcome Dennis Pitcock to the innovator’s circle. Dennis has been the runners up a number of times and recently won one of our Private Innovation Challenges around energy bars. Congrats! Dennis is not just an ideator and a brainstormer, but he’s an entrepreneur. It’s no wonder he continually ranks at the top of our crowdsourcing competitions. He’s also got a killer beard and great taste in t-shirts. See below to learn more about his startup, his hopes for Betterific and some inspiration when it comes to brainstorming on Betterific. We’ve really taken a liking to the Google Talk he references below on creativity – thanks for the tip.
Micha: What do you do when you’re not brainstorming on Betterific? Dennis G. Pitcock: Teaching myself how to code and build a startup called Jauntify. Betterific is a great way to take a break from it all and keep my mind fresh.
MW: Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know from your resume. DGP: I love to travel but hate spending too little time at one place. I like to stay somewhere for at least a month, and really get to know the people and culture, and feel like a local.
MW: What books do you recommend on ideation, creativity or innovation? DGP: I really want to read David Burkus “The Myths of Creativity”. I watched his Google Talk on Youtube and he was great. Perhaps I’ll use this giftcard to finally get it.
MW: What BIG idea are you thinking about/sitting on? DGP: Already there with a super eary stage startup that is transitioning from the project phase to a business phase. We, at Jauntify, are trying to make it easier for you to find and compare things to do before you travel. We’re up and running for the Philadelphia area now, and can’t wait to grow and really take on this challenge
MW: When you get an invitation to join a Betterific innovation challenge, how do you approach the challenge? Any good techniques you want to share? DGP: I read the challenge 2 or 3 times to make sure I didn’t miss something which could easily be done in all the new-challenge-excitement. Also, being the first person lay down the good idea really gives you an advantage. I believe good ideas come to anyone, so you have to get yours up fast.
MW: What have you enjoyed most about the Betterific platform? And what do you like most about the community? DGP: I like how people add comment on ideas. This challenge was excelllent in getting the community engaged. I try to comment often and hope others are motivated to comment more too. Everyone has their good ideas, but by bouncing these ideas off like minded people is what makes them become great.
MW: If you were CEO for a day, what would you improve about the platform? DGP: I’d try to make it more collaborative than competitive, motivating people to work together to beat the challenge. I feel like the competitiveness is hindering the innovation potential. It seems as if (especially on the earlier challenges), some members were hesitant to upvote or comment on competing ideas, which might win. The lesser the upvotes, the lesser visibility an idea could get, and the lesser the comments, the less an idea could be refined. There most likely is the perfect blend of competition and collaboration that applies to each challenge. I remember the first time I played the ‘Pandemic’ board game, where we all had to work together. It was fun and it would be great to see this kind of collaboration taking on innovation too.