Zach Friedman

Innovation Consultant / Creator, First Principles Comics


Please provide a personal bio for other members to get to know you

Hi friends. My name is Zach.

I like to make stuff up. Not in a lying way like in a creating new one-of-a-kind-things kind of way. Spark new thinking. Being generative.

I've been studying and working in innovation for about 10 years now. I liked it so much I even made my own major in it at Ohio State.

Right now, I currently work at Nationwide in innovation.

But before that I was planning on becoming a professor in design/business—but honestly I didn't quite fit in.

They said I was a little too creative for a business PhD. And that I was a little too businessy for design school.

Stuck in-between, I guess.

Then I thought to myself "What do I  really want to do? Why do I want to be a professor?". It came down to something really simple:

I want to make stuff up, then talk about it.

Yep. That's about it. Generate new perspectives. New frameworks and metaphors. Methods for designing systems and brands. Puns.

So, that's why I'm here.

Please provide an overview of the project(s) you'll be focusing on for the next 12 weeks as part of Unreal Collective.

I am working on an idea called "First Principles Comics".

Mainly, I just want this to exist. I've dove really deep in innovation/design and have taken unique experiences from different adventures (living on a permaculture farm in Israel, raw vegan culinary school, silent meditation retreats, etc.) and mapped them to innovation frameworks I've used with clients.

The problem is? Those are all locked away in confidential PowerPoint decks, smudged away with dry-erase markers or convoluted by inbound marketing objectives of selling big pharma advertising services.

I want to share these ideas to the masses so people who are of like mind can geek out on them as much as I do.

The goal is to design an innovation comic series that uses three characters: the explorer, the zen-master and the karate kid to tell metaphorical stories of innovation that stem from first-principles of natural systems, science and human psychology.

The stories will deal with topics like "emergence" "fractals" "weaving" "posture" and other frameworks I've developed. I'll then make other frameworks/methods for applying these ideas to your life, work and community.

Still a lot to figure out, but I am excited to be here for the journey!