On Innovation

Wow it has been a while since I have written not because I didn’t want to (as I said previously I love this so far) but I have been so busy both in my professional and personal life. This particular post is about my professional life more than my personal life.

innovation 300x288 On InnovationThere has been a ton of debate at my company recently about “Innovation”. Based on this I want to set the record straight about where I stand on the topic. True innovation is a combination of three disciplines (in no particular order technology, business and design) coming together in perfect unity. I constructed this diagram to show my perspective on innovation. It is not just about technology or design. A very key part is the business perspective. Is the idea viable? How can we make money? How can we be honest with our consumer/audience (ie no dirty tricks)? How do we make larger company goals about valuation and yet make a great product. My point is that innovation IS a balance.

Innovation is NOT a commodity. It is hard to get because it is indeed a balance of all three of these disciplines (technology, design and business).
I believe that the key part that we have been missing on a project I have been working on recently is the business perspective. We are largely a B2B company selling advertising and don’t have much of a consumer presence. Our CEO has asked us to have a consumer based product line yet we are mainly pursuing B2B opportunities.

This project is an example of having great technology, great design yet without a business model we cannot truly succeed. We are missing the third leg in my diagram. Furthermore, if we just simply pursue the “normal” business model for the company (advertising) we may not have an innovative product. After all the consumer in an advertiser-based business is the ad agency not the consumer.

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