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5 Rules For Practicing Disruptive Innovation While Staying On Top Of Big Data Waves Posted on Sep 12 - 2017

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Moshe Yanai has been re-thinking the box for more than 40 years, inventing new configurations of the large containers in which we keep the data generated by our constantly expanding digital lives. Data is eating the world and Yanai has been staying on top of its exponential growth by applying smart algorithms (what is now popularly called “artificial intelligence”) to cost-effectively store and manage data.

First at Siemens-Nixdorf, then at EMC, he went against IBM, the dominant data storage player at the time, and won. Then Yanai re-configured storage twice again, with XIV which he sold to IBM in 2007, and now as founder and CEO of Infinidat, a startup valued at $1.2 billion (in 2015) which grew 144% last year.

Along the way, he also figured out disruptive innovation. He calls it “alchemy, creating gold out of sand.” Here’s my distillation of Yanai’s 5 ingredients of a successful alchemy process, of coming up with the right invention at the right time and transforming it into a winner in the marketplace.

Yanai’s 5 rules for disruptive innovation:

  1. Study the conventional wisdom and find out exactly what’s wrong with it.
  2. Focus on how you put your product together, on mixing software and hardware in a way that ensures the product is hardware-agnostic.
  3. Keep in mind the cost of operating and maintaining the product, including ease-of-use and minimizing human error.
  4. Listen to what customers want but figure out what they actually need.
  5. Hire the right mix of people and drive them to success by motivating them with an exciting and unconventional vision. View More
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