Dave Girouard

Too many people believe that speed is the enemy of quality. To an extent they’re right — you can’t force innovation and sometimes genius needs time and freedom to bloom. But in my experience, that’s the rare case. There’s not always a stark tradeoff between something done fast and done well. Don’t let you or your organization use that as a false shield or excuse … [ Read more ]

Reed Hastings

Controlling innovation is an oxymoron. You inspire innovation. You support innovation. Unlike the quality process, where the goal is to reduce variability, innovations require you to look for ways to increase variability. And business model innovation is scary because it is the toughest to take on.

Daniel Cohen, Brian Quinn, Erik Roth

High failure rates, in our experience, are often correlated with inattention to assumptions, which underlie all innovation initiatives. Companies often confuse assertions with assumptions, stating confidently what “should be true” for an innovation concept (for example, the price premium that customers will pay) instead of acknowledging that it is merely a strong hypothesis that needs to be validated. We therefore encourage management teams to place … [ Read more ]

Buckminister Fuller

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Four Steps to Business Model Innovation

Success in this new era of accelerated disruption requires a holistic approach to technology.

Shane Parrish

Genius is always recognized in hindsight, with the benefit of positive results in mind. We “cherrypick” the good results of divergent thinkers, but forget that we use the results to decide who’s a genius and who isn’t. Thus, tolerating divergent, genius-level thinking requires an ability to tolerate failure, loss, and change if it’s to be applied prospectively.

Paul Graham

The paths that lead to new ideas tend to look unpromising. If they looked promising, other people would already have explored them. How do the people who do great work discover these paths that others overlook? The popular story is that they simply have better vision: because they’re so talented, they see paths that others miss. But if you look at the way great discoveries … [ Read more ]

The Innovator’s Secret Weapon

Talk all you want about strategy and operational efficiency—the truth is, firms succeed because they offer something irresistible.

Erik Roth

We’ve done a lot of research around what really makes for a high-performance innovation team. What we’ve found is that, if you go to Silicon Valley or Berlin or Singapore or Israel and look for the entrepreneurs—individual founders—they overweight slightly on the vision and the collaborations and underweight slightly on the execution and learning. But again, it depends on the individual.

But in a corporate environment, … [ Read more ]

Erik Roth

One of the questions we often get asked is, “How do I get the best innovation talent into my organization?” It’s an interesting question because of course we all want to find the most talented individuals and the most high-performing individuals to drive some of our most important endeavors.

But as we look at innovation, what we’re finding is there just aren’t that many people who … [ Read more ]

The Innovation Commitment

To catalyze breakthrough growth, leaders must set bold aspirations, make tough choices, and mobilize resources at scale.

Anne Dwane

Consider comedians. Comedians don’t live in a different world [than] everyone else; they just see the humor in it. Likewise, entrepreneurs see opportunity where the majority sees mature, intractable markets. Entrepreneurial epiphanies come from a beginners mind, not a jaded one.

Brian Quinn

I see this dichotomy of conflict between what companies think of as their organic or internal innovation engine and their external innovation engine. As opposed to seeing that as all part of one seamless system where at every step I may have the initial inkling of the opportunity. I’ve identified this very valuable problem. I’ve got an initial concept. The first scan should be, actually … [ Read more ]

6 Skills That Wise Companies Harness for World-Changing Innovation

What does it take to truly change the world? In The Wise Company, Hirotaka Takeuchi shares the practices that help leading companies turn knowledge into lasting breakthroughs.

Creating High-Performance Innovation Teams at Scale

For innovation initiatives to succeed, they must be staffed with the right combination of talent.

Paul Graham

When a startup launches, there have to be at least some users who really need what they’re making — not just people who could see themselves using it one day, but who want it urgently. Usually this initial group of users is small, for the simple reason that if there were something that large numbers of people urgently needed and that could be built with … [ Read more ]

Rahul Vohra

[Sean] Ellis [has] found a leading [product/market fit] indicator: just ask users “how would you feel if you could no longer use the product?” and measure the percent who answer “very disappointed.” After benchmarking nearly a hundred startups with his customer development survey, Ellis found that the magic number was 40%. Companies that struggled to find growth almost always had less than 40% of users … [ Read more ]

Rahul Vohra

To increase your product/market fit […] spend half your time doubling down on what users already love and the other half on addressing what’s holding others back.

Ibrahim Gokcen

Failing fast and cheap doesn’t mean making bad decisions. It means complying within the constraints that you have, and learning how do you go faster or how do you test things faster. And then implementing the decisions properly.