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Bob Moesta

Episode 44, Struggling Is the Seed of Innovation

Innovator, entrepreneur, engineer, and builder Bob Moesta has been breaking things his entire life. However, says Moesta, that process leads to discovery, innovation, and finding solutions to complex problems. As co-founder of The Re-Wired Group, Moesta has launched over 3500 new products and services.

A Sonic Journey

by Nelda Sue Yaw with Steve Roach | Nelda Live!

Moesta readily admits, “I was that annoying child who asked a thousand questions because that’s how I learned.” It’s a methodology he still uses today. According to Moesta, “Questions are the cornerstone of innovation. Without questions, you don’t actually understand how anything works. Questions also create spaces in the brain for solutions to fall into.” Finding solutions to problems is his stock in trade. Through the Re-Wired Group, an innovation consultancy and incubator, Bob Moesta has created innovative solutions to problems with the ultimate goal of improving lives. He contends, “People don’t buy products or services. They hire them to make progress in their lives.” Getting to the bottom of what consumers really want is behind his process of rigorous interrogation. He starts by looking through the lens of what he calls “the beginner’s mind,” not knowing the answer, but being curious to discover and learn.

I build boundaries around problems, situations, context, and outcomes. Then, I find the things that will help people at this moment in time.

Adds Moesta, “The key is building the right frames, in the right box, with the right boundaries, and being creative inside the box.” His framing starts with identifying root problems and goals—where do people struggle and where do they want to make progress? From there, Moesta integrates established core concepts in search of better ways to reach a desired goal. The process is not predictable and demands discovery, learning, creativity, and nimble adaptability. However, the end result is well worth it. “Innovation is really about actually helping people make progress and helping society.”

With thousands of success stories, his process of innovating has been applied to everything from products and services to brands and business models. Bob Moesta co-authored the books Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress, and Jobs-to-Be-Done Handbook: Practical Techniques for Improving Your Application of Jobs-to-Be-Done, as well as Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life.

As a lifelong learner with multiple degrees, Moesta believes that education is long overdue for disruptive but progressive innovation. He sees enormous room for improvement not only to address different learning styles but outcomes as well. With the soaring costs of higher education, the stakes are high. College may not be the best choice for every learner and choosing the right college is critical to achieving a desired goal. He believes his approach can help.

Moesta recommends starting with a “360-degree view and elimination of directions. Look for what really energizes you because when people are doing what they love, they don’t even see it as work anymore.”

Sounds like a great place to land.

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What you’ll learn

  • The two sides of innovation (2:35)
  • Why innovation requires discovery and adaptation (3:45)
  • How struggling is the seed of all innovation (4:55)
  • The important distinction between invention and innovation (6:04)
  • Why understanding the motivation behind a problem is important (8:25)
  • What he discovers by asking a lot of the right questions (9:31)
  • Why “the beginner’s mind” is crucial to innovation (15:14)
  • Why he believes education is due for a big disruption (17:29)
  • Moesta’s book Choosing College and why it’s important to understand the motivation for attending (26:36)
  • How his dyslexia gave him superpowers in other directions (28:50)
  • How the pandemic is innovating teaching methods (35:27)
  • Moesta’s advice when choosing to do new things or make a change (37:44)

Resources

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