We profoundly believe in the concept of “expert generalists” behind our investment strategy. Rather than focusing on accepted practices of investment theory or strictly by financials, Innovation Factory has chosen to study widely and deeply in many fields, including design, microeconomics, psychology, law, mathematics, biology, music, sports, engineering, and exponential technology, and apply those insights to investing.
Entrepreneurs and individuals who have the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines, industries, skills, capabilities, and topics are who we look for to both work at Innovation Factory and to invest in through our angel fund. These are the ones who have the ability to draw on that palette of diverse knowledge to recognize patterns and connect the dots across multiple areas coming up with unique, innovative ideas.
One clear notion is the value of gaining a wide breadth of knowledge while also drilling deeply into your area of specialty. Since the rules of business are constantly and fundamentally changing, being an expert-generalist allows individuals to quickly adapt to change. The four main advantages to our concept are as follows:
1) See the world more accurately and make better predictions of the future because they are not as susceptible to the biases and assumptions prevailing in any given field or community.
2) Have more breakthrough ideas, because they pull insights that already work in one area into ones where they haven’t been tried yet.
3) Build deeper connections with people who are different than them because of understanding of their perspectives.
4) Build more open networks, which allows them to serve as a connector between people in different groups.
Many of the top scientists, business leaders, inventors and artists throughout time have also achieved their breakthrough successes by being an expert-generalist. Albert Einstein was trained in physics, but to formulate his law of general relativity, he taught himself an area of mathematics far removed from his expertise, Riemannian geometry. James Watson and Francis Crick combined discoveries in X-ray diffraction technology, chemistry, evolutionary theory and computation to solve the puzzle of the double helix. Steve Jobs, of course, drew on insights from his study of calligraphy and a rich understanding of design to create a new breed of computing devices, and finally Elon Musk has create 4 multi-billion dollar companies in different industries, tech, automotive, energy, and aeronautics, all by his mid forties.
Those who can bridge the gaps between silos are becoming more valuable than ever as the amount of knowledge in the world and its fragmentation continue to accelerate.
As technology, globalization, geopolitical challenges, and competition accelerate the disruption of business, people are confronted with challenges, customs, and issues they have never experienced before. These are the problems we are trying to solve at Innovation Factory.