This year we came to a new “eat your own dog food” moment. We took our own advice to recruit the people with the best skills, knowledge, and experience to guide an emerging solution through the Innovation Hot Zones. While we may have been the most passionate, energized, and best equipped to give birth to Solve Next, and to steer it through the Formulate, Incubate, and Accelerate Stages of Innovation, we recognized that we might not be the best people to shepherd Solve Next through the Operate, Grow, and Elevate Stages.
We see that Solve Next is outgrowing our leadership skills, knowledge, and expertise. We acknowledge that it is time for us to pass the baton of leadership to people who know far better than us how to build a mature business without sacrificing the high-quality of what we deliver to our clients, students, and members.
Dave and Helen have a passion for—and track record of—building businesses and cultures that powerfully deliver on the promises of those businesses. Over the past decade, Dave and Helen have founded four companies together. Most recently, they co-founded Intelligentsia.ai which researched how humans and machines will work together in the age of AI for a global business audience. They sold Intelligentsia.ai to Quartz, a division of Atlantic Media. Dave and Helen also co-founded Koru Ventures, an innovation advisory firm, where they worked with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500’s, emerging platforms to non-profits.
Dave has spent his career leading people through big technology trends like the internet, cleantech, and artificial intelligence. He’s a trend-spotter, analyst, and storyteller. Half his brain is dedicated to creatively designing consumer experiences while the other half has an uncanny ability to find the right metric to measure and build upon. This unique combination has him creating products that delight millions, raising billions for emerging companies and finding opportunities before they are mainstream. He’s also an experienced leader and business-builder. Dave is hanging out to put all of this together with Solve Next’s community and power our next phase of growth and effectiveness.
His past experience includes being head of software application marketing at Apple, head of consumer strategy at SunPower, a venture capitalist and a lead technology research analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Helen has spent her career at the edges of chaos—where technological innovation collides head-on with traditional ways of doing things. She's worked with world-class business leaders, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, technologists, lawmakers, academics and designers to marry human energy and insight with new opportunities created by technology. She's been described as being able to see new relationships and counter-intuitive outcomes—to “link the unlinkable.”
Helen has developed many techniques that she uses to help innovation teams discover new ideas, gain insight and get the hard stuff done. She’s jazzed to lead the development of Solve Next, Think Wrong, and beyond.
Her past experience includes being CIO of Transpower, New Zealand’s national grid, head of emerging products at Pacific Gas and Electric, and head of corporate venturing for Meridian Energy as well as a lot of time spent in the venture community as a VC, an advisor, and founder.
With the addition of Dave and Helen, we’ll have more time to spend on our passion—lifting up the hood on how problem-solving and solution development are best done by human-beings—and developing pragmatic solutions to help you do that.
We will focus on the continual development of Solve Next’s Unified Process for Innovation—crafting even more straightforward language, helpful frameworks, practical tools, and useful techniques to support you in the transformation of what is and the imagination, building, and operation of what’s next for your organizations, industries, communities, and countries.
And we’ll continue to lead Master Classes and Think Wrong Blitzes—because it’s through our face-to-face, personal interactions with you and others that we learn the most about what works, what’s needed by your organizations, and what our next for you might be.
We want to thank you for trusting us with your people and your next. And for your belief in us as Solve Next moved through the Formulate, Incubate, and Accelerate Stages of Innovation. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you might have. Or to bend our ears if you feel like we’re doing anything less than exceeding the promises Solve Next makes to you.
We look forward to building even bigger and brighter futures together.
Mike Burn and Greg Galle
Re-founders Solve Next