Innovators, like entrepreneurs, are often more successful when they are young.  The reasons have more to do with naivety than vigor.  Many entrepreneurs and innovators look at market conditions and competitive threats in a very different light than do large corporations and incumbents.  That’s because larger firms and experts fall prey to “knowing” too much […]

I was working with a large client several years ago, and requested the opportunity to meet with their customers to understand and gather unmet needs.  The response?  We have thousands of reports on our customers.  Please see the market and customer research team.  Dutifully I went, fairly certain that while there may be a lot […]

There’s a mistaken definition floating around the internet about innovation.  Far too many people believe innovation is a completely new product or service – a shiny new object.  What that definition fails to recognize is that for innovation to be valuable, the new product, service or business model needs to be something that consumers value.  […]

Given how much we talk about the future, it’s amazing how little time we spend trying to understand it.  This is especially true where innovation is concerned.  If we define innovation as the effort to introduce interesting new products and services, by definition that introduction will happen in the future.  Therefore, we ought to be […]

We live in a period of time that is obsessed with time.  And for good reason.  Time scales are shrinking.  Product life cycles are shrinking, due to many new competitors and the ability to copy and scale up new products quickly.  It’s easier to enter a market, easier to manufacture, easier to bring new products […]

When you open a toolbox, you expect to find a range of tools.  One can expect to find a hammer, a screwdriver, a socket wrench, some pliers, a saw and a number of other tools.   That’s because each tool has a specific set of functions it can accomplish.  While you can drive a screw with […]

Many innovation projects start off a bit like the scene in Casablanca where Captain Renault urges his policemen to “round up the usual suspects”.  Renault is cynically capturing the same suspects because he knows Rick’s is full of people who are on the edge of legitimacy.  He can demonstrate performance by simply sweeping up the […]