We don’t see the future, but we seek patterns. When patterns don’t appear naturally, we invent them so that reality could fit our narrative about innovation.
Such narrative will work for a few years; even decades sometimes. But it doesn’t change the underlying complexity of the market. The narrative is not wrong per se, it’s a useful bias to explain a chaotic reality. These last decades, the most well-known narratives about innovation were based on the speed at which technology was changing the market. Interestingly enough, connecting technology and market change is also a narrative.
We’re talked some time ago about why you might not be a startup, but a different animal altogether. Let’s now try to check if you might be a startup…
In 2015, I was (poorly) rapping on how early stage ventures were systematically called “startups” because pretty much everyone has vested interests in labeling them as such. We’re now in 2017 and there is always a deeply rooted misconception about what is a startup.
You have all seen this striking illustration of the platform shifts we lived this last decade: uber owns zero taxi, AirBnB zero hotel, etc. Don’t we just forget that this is business as usual in the innovation playfield?
I am very often questioned on why –my work being helping deliver innovation to markets– I don’t care for most innovation conferences.
I don’t either care so much for technology roadshows, prospective think tanks, and other events where the future is explained to the rest of us, while we frantically retweet catchy slogans of software eating the world. And for sure, I feel bad for European startups and tech giants feeling they have to attend the CES Las Vegas as the eye of the storm of it all. This is why, explained in the most perfect way:
When technology is so impactful and ubiquitous for our lives, it ends up disappearing in the background of everything we do. It becomes an invisible part of the operating system of our lives.
Most industries have adopted a pipeline process to manage their new business ideas and transform them in real product. This process is mostly flawed. Let’s see why and how we can reverse the problem.
Traditional innovation pipelines take hundreds of ideas at year one, refine twenty or thirty of them, prototype a dozen tops, kill them along the way, and try to exit with a single market-viable product after three years. This process bets on the fact that you’ll have a gold nugget in the ideas that initially fuelled the pipe. This is rarely so.