How Innovation Really Happens

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Boss says: "Let's innovate!" Team typically goes through this process:

  1. Start: "Hey, we gotta research what the market wants!"
  2. Middle: "Let's build feature X, Y, Z -- because that's what we believe the market wants!"
  3. End: "We failed! We didn't understand what the market wanted! BOO!"

How does innovation happen?

  1. You can't plan for success.
  2. Only the market can approve your success.



  1. Segway had the world's best innovators drawing up its plan.
  2. It was supposed to transform roads and commerce.
  3. Mr. Big Shot Innovator (Steve Jobs) said himself the product will rock the world.

It didn't. The well-built machine discovered a market that wasn't too keen on paying $6K for a two-wheeler whose top speed stood at 12 MPH.

  1. Drawing up the filthiest plan in the world won't guarantee you a place in the Innovators' Hall of Fame.
  2. Prominent inventions don't come by way of comprehensive "strategic" business planning.

Oh no; it comes by way of this kabillion-dollar practice:

  1. Throwing your invention out there.
  2. See if people likey-like it.

That's it.

Release a Stream of Innovations

The world's greatest innovators produce a ridiculous number of inventions in the fastest time possible.

They throw their projects on a platter, go around the room, and see which suckas stick with folks:

  • "Yes, I see that the market likes this and this..."
  • "I also see the market is not catching on to this and this..."
  • "Kabambo! I just innovated like a champion."

Comedians Innovate Better than Businesses

How do good comedians add stuff to their repertoire? Before they risk their reps with bigger crowds, they try new jokes on smaller crowds:

  • If peeps laugh: "Add to repertoire!"
  • If peeps smile: "Throw it away!"

Simple. That's how innovators become innovation-master-king-combo champions of the @^^%^ world.

  1. Publish quickly.
  2. Gauge response.


Bow to the market.

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Posted on March 26

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