Deep Purple is one of the greatest  bands of all times. It may be not your favourite but no one can go past ‘Smoke on the Water’ unaffected. Freakish Creativity? No doubt. But what counts and makes it a valuable lesson for a business, is CONSISTENT PERFORMANCE that draws from the same toolbox an innovative people and organisations do: seeking inspiration outside and rapid prototyping.

Inspiration – Turn up the Volume of Stimuli:

“When you record live music … that’s it … everything leads to this.

“All the practice, all the other gigs, everything you’ve ever done, comes down to today.  This is as good as I get in this moment. Tomorrow is another matter. We’ll get up again and practice and try to get a little better … but this music is about the point of truth today.

“It’s about ‘Who are YOU?’ and ‘What do YOU do?’ You listen to Charlie Parker and you listen to John Coltrane and Theolonius Monk, and you have all that in your head and it gets down to who are YOU in relationship to all of this.  Because no matter how hard I practice, I will never be John Coltrane. I’m me and I’m coming from where I’m coming from.

“So at a certain point in your life, you get to that.  That’s the point of truth, that’s your point of reality. It’s who you are.”

While I love this deep insight from the hyper-creative guy, here is the same message coming from an innovative business, IDEO. Tom Kelley talks for a couple of minutes about HOW TO keep the Team in top shape:

Rapid Prototyping:

The second ‘business’ tool Deep Purple have applied and found that it brings the best results is the process used to produce “Machine Head” record. Producing records (and we are going to get someone from the music industry on RIOT soon) is a lot like an R&D of any new product: multiple inputs, multiple opinions, decisions, testing, often resulting in a compromise.

One of the band members talks about how this outstanding record was produced in ‘record time’ – “quick and to the point… and that’s how records should be produced.”

If you have ever tried to sell a house, listen to what the agent recommends to prepare the house for market – for results. Do they ever recommend spending a lot of time, perfecting every crack in the wall? Firstly, the good ones know their market. They ‘commercialise’ hundreds of properties each month. Want it or not they see and hear what customers say. They OBSERVE the facial expressions, the pace, what stopped the prospects in their tracks and led them right out the door. One piece of the rather superficial but valuable advice you might get is to put on a fresh pot of coffee or bake some cookies right before the inspection: it’s about buiding the unspoken relationship with the prospects, the bond with the bricks and mortar. Inspection is your Prototype.

Rapid Prototyping is about bringing ideas to life and checking if they can fly: change management, participation in activities, initiative you want to run past your boss. Most people lack the imagination or verbal skills to paint the picture. Borrow imagery from elsewhere. Show and tell. It works at school, at IDEO, at Deloitte so there is a good chance it will help you succeed.

Next week InnoFuture will publish the video recording of a  previous RIOT on Rapid Prototyping with Peter Williams, CEO Deloitte Digital. You can further compare notes on what it takes to “turn an accounting firm into ideas factory”.


Don’t miss our next RIOT to hear insights on ‘wicked problems’, ‘visualising innovation, open innovation and more tools to keep you and your team on top of things.


InnoFuture exists to help businesses deepen their innovation capacity and to inspire them to adopt innovation as a way-of-life by connecting them with curated innovation knowledge, tools and resources to create sparks of greatness. Our uniquely advantage is our neutral position. In the ever changing and evolving market of business innovation we remain unbiased to specific models and tools, while continually exploring new and emerging concepts, tools and expertise.  | Contact us |