I’ve been thinking about the process of innovation for the past month (since Matthew Homann posted his request for an Innovation Assistant). Some of my current thinking on how innovation goes wrong:
- Lack of Clarity
- Ideas die from confusion about what they really accomplish. Sometimes it is because we don’t understand what is new and unique and sometimes it is because we are unable to articulate what is new and unique. Because it is easy to dismiss what is new, it is important to uncover the inner nature of an idea before pronouncing judgement.
- Lack of Applicability
- Technology is littered with solutions in search of a problem. Ideas die when we don’t understand the who, how, and how much of how they apply to the real world. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between how we think the world works and how it really works.
- Lack of a Prototype
- Whether it’s a paper prototype or something more substantial, seeing is believing. We often need a more concrete representation of the idea in action before we can accept it.
And of course, sometimes the ideas are just bad.