Innovative Problem-Solving Starts with Problem-SEEKING: So Whose Job Is It?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned about innovation came from a group of college kids. I was teaching an industrial design course, and on the very first day, I gave them an assignment: “Go home and ask your family, ‘What makes your life crazy?’ Then think about how you could solve that problem.”They came back to class with all sorts of ideas, from special blenders to a hair bonnet that let you comfortably sleep with rollers in your hair...

Get Your Company to Invest in Innovation: 3 Strategies for Success

What do NASA, a hydraulic fracturing company, and a steel fabricator have in common? When faced with a problem, they knew they needed to innovate. What’s more, they were able to convince the powers that be—the decision makers that control the purse strings—to invest the needed resources to develop that innovation....

The Ugly Secret of Innovation: How One Doctor ALMOST Saved Countless Lives

Let me tell you a story about a man who almost saved countless lives. The man was Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis. In 1846, he was appointed to the Vienna General Hospital and quickly noticed a problem.

Get Ready to Fail: The 3-Step Learning Cycle of Prototyping

In the early 1900s, Thomas Edison and his researchers were trying to develop a new kind of battery. They had been working on the problem for more than five months when Edison’s long-time associate Walter S. Mallory came to visit. As Mallory recounted, he found Edison at a long bench covered with hundreds of test cells. The researchers had done more than 9,000 experiments with such cells, but still they had not found a working solution...

If You Skip This Step When Prototyping, You’re Doing It Wrong

You’ve identified a problem that needs to be solved, and you’ve brainstormed potential solutions, narrowing them down to one that seems promising.So now what? How do you get from a hypothetical solution to an actual product? ... It’s time for prototyping!

Making the Most of Your Product Focus Group: 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid

If you want to develop a successful product, one person’s opinion matters more than any other’s. The customer. To develop a product that not only works but also sells, you need a product customers want...

8 Questions to Mitigate the Risk of Innovation

8 Questions to Mitigate the Risk of InnovationThere’s a big, obvious reason more companies don’t innovate: risk. Too often, people’s advice is to embrace risk, which is basically like saying, “Oh, you’re scared of risk? Well, stop being scared of it.” As if that’s going to help. Instead of embracing risk, what if we mitigated it? Starting from scratch to releasing a viable new product in the market, what do you think the probability of success is? 

American Innovation Is Broken: Here’s Why

The Telegraph. The telephone. The incandescent light bulb. The airplane. What do they have in common? All were created or made practical by American inventors. Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, America was the undisputed world leader of innovation. Today, we have lost that title. For thirteen years in a row, Switzerland has dominated the #1 spot in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index. The United States has been bumped back to #3, behind Sweden, with China closing in at #12 in the world............

Revitalizing Our Community: The East Texas Technology and Innovation Coalition (ETTIC)

In 2021, 11.6 percent of people lived below the poverty line in the United States. In Palestine, Texas, the home of PCDworks, a staggering 18.8 percent of the population lived below the poverty line, which is, simply put, too many. East Texas, particularly Anderson County, has long faced economic....

The Special Sauce of Innovation: 3 Key Traits

By Mike Rainone ~ In theory, anyone can innovate. In practice, few do. What sets the innovators apart? At PCDworks, we’re in the business of innovation, which means we’ve had to learn how to identify innovative minds. Usually, when hiring, people look at resumes and past experience. Innovation is hard to quantify, though. It is not simply an action, but a mindset—a way of thinking and looking at the world. In my experience as co-founder, instead of relying on resumes, you need to look deeper, at core character traits. If you want to innovate, you need curious generalists who aren’t fatheads. That’s the special sauce.

Start Innovating in Just 3 Days with Immersive Innovation

Almost every company wants to innovate (or at least says they want to innovate), but too many make the mistake of expecting innovation to just happen on its own. If you want innovation, you have to drive it. The good news is you can start driving innovation in just three days. At PCDworks, we have developed a tried-and-true process we call Immersive InnovationTM. The process itself is simple. Read on to learn how.

AI vs. Human: The Complexity of the Human Brain

We’re big science fiction fans here at PCDworks. Our founder and chief innovation officer Mike Rainone once made his son a replica of a phased plasma rifle from Terminator for Halloween. Despite being made out of wood, it was so realistic people stopped them and checked to make sure it wasn’t real!

Less Is More: 3 Benefits of Small Teams for Innovation

The Marine Corps has about 180,000 active personnel and an annual budget of about $50 billion. So why would they come to a company like PCDworks, with a staff of only 10, to solve their problem? They came to us not despite our size, but because of it.

Redefining Problem-Solving the PCDworks Way

The art of problem-solving, especially when it relates to innovation, requires diverse perspectives and approaches. When we innovate solutions to difficult problems at PCDworks, we pay special attention to fundamental research and functional decomposition. It’s not as complicated as it sounds:

Beyond Knowing—The Subtle Art of Transforming Knowledge into Profound Wisdom

Knowledge leading to understanding which can lead to wisdom are all invaluable for personal and professional growth, and understanding their distinctions is essential for decision-making and problem-solving.

Client Chemistry 101—Are We the Perfect Match?

If you’re looking for a creative collaborator to help bring an idea to life, you must do what you can to ensure it’s a great match. Launching a business or new product line is challenging enough. Make sure you have a partner by your side who complements your strengths and compensates for your weaknesses.

From Constraint to Creativity: Overcoming the Brain's Barriers

At PCDworks, we love to nerd out over how our brains work, for obvious reasons. An enlightening episode of PBS NOVA highlights a key concept that guides our Immersive Ideation™ sessions: The brain's self-monitoring function is crucial for everyday life, but it also places a leash on our creativity.

Cracking the Innovation Code—The Power of Iterative Hypothesis Formulation

Parched for Progress

The inherent risk and uncertainty of innovation, paired with the looming threat of a recession, has been causing ripples across the country and the world.

The Proprietary PCDworks Process that Promises Breakthrough Innovation

If you’re wondering if working with PCDworks makes sense for your organization, here are some fundamental characteristics that likely make us a good fit for each other.

The PCDworks Approach Proves American Ingenuity Isn't Dead

A psychologist, an architect, and an engineer walk into a bar…learn about the PCDworks approach to prove that American ingenuity isn't dead.

PCDworks Featured on Recent Episode of Lab to Startup

PCDworks had a recent opportunity to be part of the Lab to Startup podcast with Naresh Sunkara, PhD

PCDworks' Presents at Capital Factory

PCDworks presented at the Capital Factory in November 2022.

Spring cleaning: A New Website for PCDworks

A new website for PCDworks and new ways to keep in touch.