Kym McNicholas

EMMY AWARD-WINNING Anchor/Reporter/Producer and Entrepreneur with 17 years of on-camera experience on national television and online. She helped to revolutionize the world of online video journalism as a pioneer of digital video content post boom and beyond. Through dedicated hard work and giving back to the communities in which she reported on, she was also awarded the Governor’s medallion for extraordinary service to the broadcast industry. Her career has given her journalistic breadth ranging from local news to meteorology, sports and business with a focus on tech.

Kym’s tenure at Forbes solidified her beat in business and has developed her into an extremely well connected industry expert. Kym’s passion and expertise for the tech world has poised her for her most recent endeavors as an Executive Consultant to established industry leaders, Executive Advisor for Startups, On-air Career/ Technology Expert, Executive Director of the Extreme Tech Challenge ( ) and Entrepreneur as Founder/Chairman of Kymerview.

Highlights of her broadcasting career:

  • Kym shook up the industry by helping to build five video departments for large influential publications that shaped the online video journalism industry.
  • Journalist at Forbes Magazine, interviewing the who’s who in tech, Hollywood, Capitol Hill, and sports: Facebook’s Sean Parker and Sir Richard Branson to Jay Leno and Jerry Rice.
  • Fox News Channel contributor Saturday mornings on “Forbes On Fox”.
  • First web-centric finance/tech focused female video reporter at forefront of emergence of online entertainment.
  • First online video reporter accepted into Capital Press Corp in Sacramento.
  • First Female Sports Director/Anchor/Reporter in San Francisco Bay Area
  • First woman in SF Bay Area to host a racing show covering Nascar, IndyCar, and AMA Superbike
  • First online technology video reporter at a traditional publication to receive an Emmy in NATAS, Northern California Chapter.

Extreme Tech Challenge

Executive Director & Emcee of the world’s largest startup competition with Sir Richard Branson and other celebrity judges. More than 3,000 companies have applied over the last two years giving me the pulse of innovation globally.

CBS Tech2

Host of a weekly technology series on KPIX 5 in the San Francisco Bay Area. We feature the coolest tech companies in Silicon Valley. They take an innovative approach to capture these stories with a selfie stick and the iPhone’s HD video camera.


For nearly five years Kym wrote for the magazine, helped build the west coast video department from scratch and covered the latest in business in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, the stock market, sports, and celebrities.

Media Portfolio

Technology: Pandora’s Tim Westergren

Founder of the online radio network defends his turf with increasing competition.

Looking Back at 15 Years of Killer Innovations

We are celebrating the 16th season of The Killer Innovations Show. This week, Bob O’Donnell, Silicon Valley veteran, the President, Founder, and Chief Analyst at TECHnalysis Research, joins us to discuss the history of Killer Innovations and some memorable moments throughout the history of the show.

Killer Innovations

How It All Started

Let’s talk about the backstory of the podcast. In 2004 while at HP, I spoke with my mentor Bob Davis. I asked him how I could pay him back for all the help he had given me in my life. He laughed at me and told me just to pay it forward. Fast forward to March 2005, where I recorded a little test show while in a bathroom at the Marriot Resort in Arizona, and the show was born. For me, it was all about innovation. Everybody thinks of me as being a tech guy because of my time at HP, but my background also covers things like wireless and mobile. It’s all about giving people an inside look at things and helping them take ideas and develop them into knockout products and services. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a lawn care service or a large multi-national company providing auto insurance.

Our listeners cover a wide variety of sizes and industries. Innovation is a skill that anyone can learn, and anyone can become proficient at it. We are all born naturally creative, and we need to find those channels of creativity to create and share the ideas running around in our heads. It’s all about taking those ideas and not letting the fear of failure stop you from successfully solving those problems.


Recently, we’ve been working with Brother, the U.S Marine Corps and the Veterans Administration, helping the government understand innovation from a unique perspective. We teach a framework with four elements around the word FIRE. F stands for focus, and it’s about identifying where the upside opportunity is. Once you define the problem space, then you can get into the I which is ideation. There are a lot of different ways to come up with ideas. Each person goes off on their own and comes up with ideas. Then they come back and share those ideas with their group. The third step is ranking. Very few organizations participate in rankings. There are different processes for ranking ideas, but as a leader, it is vital to get your team involved in it. The last letter is E for execution. Without execution, it’s a hobby. For the Marine Corps, we can do focus, ideation, and ranking in two to three hours. That includes problem statement definition, individual and team brainstorming, ranking, and an early phase of execution.

Memorable Shows

Over the many years of the show, there have been many memorable shows and moments. I’ve had Peter Guber, co-owner of the Golden State Warriors on the show, and got to be in one of his books. Bob Metcalfe, the founder of 3Com which co-invented ethernet, was also on the show. In 2005 before iTunes was a thing, I started podcasting. There was a company called Odeo that specialized in podcatching so people could get podcasts on their iPods and phones. They reached out to me, asking for feedback when they were first conceiving their product. Odeo ended up becoming the social media platform Twitter. The show we did with Dean Kamen (FIRST/ Inventor of the Segway) recently was also a very memorable one.

Fan Moments

It’s motivating for me when I get feedback from fans of the show. My very first fan engagement was in London, back in the early days of the show. A guy reached out to me, asking if he could meet me. We ended up going to a pizza restaurant across the street from the hotel I was staying in. I thought he would be the only one there, but it turns out the whole restaurant was filled with fans of the show. Not too long after that, HP acquired webOS, and I announced that I would be flying to New York. When I got to the hotel at around 2 am, there were almost a dozen people I didn’t know waiting in the lobby to talk to me.

The Innovators Network

The podcast has growth going from an individual podcast to the Innovators Network and onto the Bizz Talk Radio. The Innovators Network launched around two and a half years ago. We wanted to create a platform allowing up and coming podcasters to get distributed on platforms like iHeart and Spotify. It is a host distributor for innovation podcasts such as Tech.Pinions, Killer Innovations, 5 Minutes to New Ideas, and the Kym McNicholas on Innovation podcast focused on medical-tech innovation. A few years ago we got asked to syndicate the The Killer Innovations Show on BizTalk Radio and are now on ~63 radio stations in the United States.

Glad you could join us for the kick-off of season 16. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. Let’s connect; I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If we do connect, drop me a note and let me know. The email address is, or you can go to and drop me a note there. If you are looking for innovation support, go to TheInnovators.Network or want to be challenged to develop the next big idea, check out our Disruptive Ideation Workshops. Don’t forget to join our Innovators Community to enjoy more conversations around innovation.

To know more about the history of the show and what we’re up to in Season 16, listen to this week’s show: Looking Back at 15 Years of Killer Innovations.

RELATED:   Subscribe To The Killer Innovations Podcast


We help our clients build their confidence to innovate so they unlock their natural ability of their organization to win in the innovation economy.

The Innovators Network logo

The Innovators Network is a collective of award-winning innovators whose products are used by 100’s of millions of consumers and businesses worldwide each day.

What is different about The Innovators Networks?

All of our guides/coaches/mentors have and are actively working as innovation leaders

One example is our co-founder, Phil McKinney. Phil retired in 2011 as the CTO for Hewlett-Packard where he was the founder of its Innovation Program Office (IPO). The IPO has been written about in many leading publications and is used as case studies at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools. Phil is the current President and CEO of CableLabs, the R&D and innovation lab for the global cable industry staffed with +200 world-class technologists, innovators, and research scientists. The innovations, products, and services he has been directly involved with over his innovation career are used by more than 500 million consumers and businesses each and every day.

The Innovators Network brings REAL experiences, not professional consultants whose “experiences” are what they learned from consulting engagements or books.

Our Team

Phil McKinney Chairman - The Innovators Network

Phil McKinney/Chairman

Phil is the retired CTO of Hewlett-Packard and has built teams that created award-winning technologies and products currently used by 100’s of millions of consumers and businesses worldwide daily.

He the author of the award-winning book on innovation titled, “Beyond The Obvious” and the creator and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Killer Innovations. He and his teams have been named by FastCompany and BusinessWeek as being on of the “50 Most Innovative” for multiple years.

Phil has awarded the exclusive license to represent, commercialize, license and monetize his writings, methodologies, books, courses, workshops, podcasts and radio shows to The Innovators Network.

Email Phil

mark varricchione - president ceo of the innovators network

Mark Varricchione/President & CEO

Recently, Mark has been coaching and mentoring C-Level’s across industries engaging in business growth & technology strategy and innovation. Prior, he was at KPMG where he developed and managed a variety of teams having delivery, operations, corporate development, strategy and M&A responsibility.

Mark has worked for and with Phil on and off for more than 20 years. It’s through this close relationship that was the catalyst for Mark to launch The Innovators Network.  

Mark’s experience and expertise in running the strategy and operations allow the network of innovators to remain focused on helping our clients win in the highly competitive innovation economy.

Email Mark

Kym McNicholas Executive Producer on The Innovators Network

Kym McNicholas/Executive Producer

EMMY AWARD-WINNING Anchor/ Reporter/ Producer and Entrepreneur with 17 years of on-camera experience on national television and online. Kym revolutionized the world of online video journalism as a pioneer of digital video content.

Kym’s tenure at Forbes makes her extremely well-connected industry expert. Her passion and expertise for the tech world have poised her for my most recent endeavors as an Executive Consultant to established industry leaders, Executive Advisor for Startups, On-air Career/ Technology Expert, and Entrepreneur as Founder/Chairman of Kymerview.

Email Kym

Online Learning

Since 2005, we have been creating and giving away FREE learning materials (podcasts, syndicated talk-radio shows, etc) as our way to "pay-it-forward". Below are links to the most popular of our content.

Our Most Popular Online Learning

The Killer Innovations Show

The award-winning Killer Innovations™ Podcast and nationally syndicated talk radio show (on +30 radio stations) is hosted by Phil McKinney, an award-winning innovator of technologies and products used daily by hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses worldwide.

Show site:

5 Minutes To New Ideas

A podcast for the creative mind with a short attention span. Each episode will challenge you to create ideas by asking unique, funny & sometimes crazy questions. With this short-format show of 5 minutes, you can spend more time innovating and less time listening.

Show site:

Kym McNicholas on Innovation

A podcast that shares the journeys of successful entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors from around the world. The show features some of the most advanced technologies you’ve never heard of that could have an impact on your life, your business, and your career.

Tech.pinions Podcast

A podcast that offers a hard-hitting analysis of the most important tech industry stories and trends, with key insights from well-respected analysts.

In a fun, conversational style, the program aims at going beyond the headlines and talks about the potential long-term impact of tech-related news announcements.

Show site:

The Most Innovative Beverages of the Holiday Season – December 8th, 2017

The Most Innovative Beverages of the Holiday Season – December 8th, 2017 by Kym McNicholas On Innovation


Claude Blankiet was a pioneer in stone washing denim and is now applying the same innovative thinking to wine making. While visiting New York from France, he noticed very traditional styles and a lack of ingenuity in fashion. He moved there in the 1970’s to continue his work in the jean business, eventually creating a technique of washing denim in pumice stones to create worn, lighter wash jeans. Years later, he operates his Napa winery using the same inventive mentality. Upon entering the wine business, Blankiet began work with experienced, yet stubborn winemakers. Professionals were limited by their own knowledge making the wine high quality, but not progressive, just as the fashion industry had been. Blankiet shifted his business away from such mentors and now relied solely on his own taste, which has led to his success.      


Key Takeaways:  

Blankiet describes his way of thinking as interpretive management. This is what allows him to transition between businesses, while applying the same skills. He is not so much a creator, as an interpreter of outside ideas and talented in finding an appropriate application for them.

He experiments with non-traditional methods of production in all of his businesses in order to problem solve and maximize productivity.

One example of innovation in Blankiet’s vineyards is used to combat the intense Napa sun. Blankiet uses fabric covers to protect the fruit from direct light and was inspired by the Palm Desert to replicate a fine mist that cools the grapes without wetting them and affecting the wine production.


Key Quotes:

“The necessary thing to be successful in fine wine is to find a site and to be respectful of the site and to let the site produce the natural flavors that it is capable of making… The key for me was when I could make decisions about winemaking and let go of the hired talent and just do what I felt needed to be done.” – Claude Blankiet

“I am not a true innovator… most of what I do is using other people’s ideas, or equipment, or technique, or chemical, and finding a proper application to help me out.”- Claude Blankiet

“As a true innovator you are a lifelong learner and always learning lessons and adapting to the lessons that you learned.” Kym McNicholas

“Because of your adaptability and your ability to go and look at other industries, see what they are doing there, and bring those (solutions) in, you might be able to withstand.” – Kym McNicholas

“If your mindset is to try new things, you will find the correct solution to your problem.” – Claude Blankiet