Invention Philosophy:

Inside Our Inventive Force

“We are focused on solving problems located at the intersection of
human behavior and large-scale
digital networks.”
Learn more

Invention Philosophy

Beginning in 1994, Jay Walker and his invention team began focusing on solving problems located at the intersection of human behavior and large-scale digital networks.

Jay and his team recognized that although the world around us changes constantly, the world within us – how and why we behave the way we do – is fairly stable across time and context. They believed that a deep understanding of consumer needs and behaviors is essential to developing solutions that people embrace and value. In that sense, they are “behavior-focused” inventors in a world filled with new technologies.

Innovating in a World of
Repeatable Patterns

While it may be true that human nature has not changed much in the last 20 or 50 years, or even since the ancient Greeks first wrote tragedies and comedies, the tools we have to express our behaviors have changed radically. Today, digital devices and data-driven networks are all around us and we are constantly connected. The success of new networks inevitably creates unexpected new capabilities and opportunities, as history has shown time and again.

The railroads, the electrical network and the interstate highway system are all examples of earlier networks that both connected us and transformed us. Each fundamentally changed the way people around the world lived, worked, traveled and interacted socially and commercially.

The world is experiencing a recurrence of this pattern with today’s digital networks.

This new reality has forced a rethinking of every industry along the lines of its information flow. In the digital age, a large part of the commercial economy derives substantial value from creating, capturing, manipulating, storing, retrieving and moving information across networks — as opposed to more traditional activities such as forging steel or growing crops (both of which become more information-intensive every year).

The team’s focus on behavior and network thinking allowed them to address problems that are fundamentally multi-industry, something that makes the Walker Digital portfolio of inventions unique. As an example, the desire to be rewarded doesn’t change all that much whether we’re pumping gas, buying clothing at a retail store or making travel arrangements online. And, nowadays, most of these transactions take place at a digital point of access to a network.

"So…how might we create a new business system that satisfies our universal need to be rewarded and leverages low-cost, high-speed network capacity? How might the desire for privacy be balanced against our desire to receive valuable advertisements? How might our willingness to accept certain kinds of product uncertainty be traded for a lower price when shopping?"

These are the kinds of questions Jay Walker and the invention team at Walker Digital asked itself over the years. These are the questions that enabled them to unlock new ideas that have formed the basis of successful commercial business and partnerships, as well as the intellectual property assets owned by Walker Innovation.

The team’s focus on behavior and network thinking allowed them to address problems that are fundamentally multi-industry.

Forced rethinking makes us ask ourselves “How can we reinvent businesses given the unlimited nature of our new digital reality?"
The Library of the History of
Human Imagination
Browse Jay’s Library