When Peter Kay told a trusted friend of his decision to start an innovation consulting services company of his own, the response was disappointing: "Does the world really need another one of those?"
At first, Peter was frustrated; but the more he thought about it, the better he felt. His friend's question was, after all, a relevant one—not just for a start-up, but for any company at any point in its existence. "So, why does the world need another innovation consulting company?" Peter confronted the query. What differentiates I•86 from the others? Peter knew the answer. Having spent much of his career in client-side marketing, he was all too familiar with the one-size-fits-all, boilerplate solutions, and he had had enough. Instead, he wanted to build a company forged on a solid foundation of innovation philosophies, but with enough flexibility built-in to provide customized innovation solutions to its clients—solutions that would directly address the disappointments they'd encountered in previous innovation attempts.
SO, WHY "I•86"? The name, by design, is meant to stimulate thought. In a broader scope, it expresses the very tenets behind the company:
"I" is for "Innovation." Pretty straightforward. The "86" is the fork in the road.
The literal meaning behind "86" is deletion (e.g. to get rid of). In order to innovate effectively, companies must deliberately eliminate all the obstacles that have impeded their innovation process in the past. The road to successful innovation must be cleared of debris and the potholes paved over.
Peter Kay's version of "86" occurred as a revelation the night before a major ideation in 2003. And it happened while watching Seinfeld—Episode #86—in which George realizes that every decision he's ever made has been wrong, and that if he just did the opposite of all his first impulses, he could potentially turn his whole life around. And it works! Next thing he knows, he's got a gorgeous new girlfriend and an enviable new job. What struck Peter with piercing clarity was that he had been using that same approach to help clients innovate—that when thrust into a dramatic perspective shift, his clients were able to perceive new concepts and ideas that otherwise would have remained concealed.
This is why "I•86" exists, and why it's called "I•86."