Successful innovation results when entrepreneurs manage their own shortcomings, find a problem they care about, and approach it from different angles with small safe-to-fail experiments.
Dave Snowden on Culture and Innovation
Dave Snowden has a thought provoking post on Culture and Innovation where he identified three necessary, but not sufficient conditions for innovation to take place:
- Starvation of familiar resource, forcing you to find new approaches, doing things in a different way;
- Pressure that forces you to engage in the problem;
- Perspective Shift to allow different patterns and ideas to be brought into play.
Snowden also observes:
Creativity is just one way, and not necessarily the most effective to achieve perspective shift. In fact I am increasingly of the opinion that creativity is not a cause of innovation, but a property of innovation processes, its something that you can use as evidence of innovation, but not to create it.
What Innovation Requires of Bootstrapping Entrepreneurs
- Successful entrepreneurship is an ongoing self-improvement project, it’s frequently painful as you force yourself to confront your own shortcomings and leave your comfort zone to try new things (which often don’t work the first time).
- Find a customer problem that you care about solving and put the pressure on yourself.
- Don’t assume you can plan your way around failure. Run small experiments with small budgets that simulate a starvation of resources.
- Try and “walk around problems” and look at them from different angles.