Innovation

Some of the best principles I've come across from around the web, blogs, and books on the topic.

 

Innovation

  • Innovation is not about novelty, it's about creating value
    • R&D is about spending money to create knowledge, innovation is about using knowledge to create value
  • Innovation efforts fail when there is a disconnect between assumptions and reality
    • Invest heavily in making sure the two are aligned
    • Look for disconfirming data
  • To be effective, an innovation has to be simple and it has to be focused
    • Effective innovations start small
    • Eliminate the nonessential distractions, listen to what is essential
    • If you could only do one thing, what would it be?
    • Exercise the power of choice
  • Innovation is work rather than genius
    • If I fail more than you do, I win

 

The Entrepreneur

  • The role of the entrepreneur is not to build a product, it's to reduce the uncertainty in the business model
  • Entrepreneurship is the practice of systemic innovation
  • Be completely obsessed with the problem, not married to the solution
  • Live where luck strikes
    • Live where everything is happening,
    • where the money is flowing,
    • where careers are being made,
    • where your role models live.
    • Once there, be as in the game as anyone can be
    • Be right in the middle of everything
  • Say yes to everything (at first, this changes later)
    • Meet everyone
    • Pursue every opportunity
    • Nothing is too small. Do it all.
    • Follow up and keep in touch with everyone
    • Once successful, you need to switch strategies
      • Change yes to "hell yes!" or no
      • To get successful you had to say yes to everything
      • Now if you continue to do that, you'll drown in all the opportunities
      • Now say no to anything that makes you say anything less than "hell yes!"
  • Learn multiplying skills
    • Speaking, writing, psychology, design, conversation, 2nd languages, persuasion, programming, meditation/focus
    • Not pursued on their own, they're skills that multiply the success of your main pursuit
      • A pilot who's also a great writer and public speaker
      • A chef with a mastery of psychology, persuasion, and design
    • These skills multiply the result of your efforts, and give you an edge over others in your field
  • Pursue market value not personal value
    • Do not be the starving artist, working on things that have great personal value to you, but little market value
    • Follow the money. It tells you where you're most valuable
    • Don't try to make a career out of everything you love
  • Be the owner, not just the inventor
    • It's tempting to try to be the ideas person, having someone else do the dirty work of making those ideas happen
    • Ideas don't make you rich. Great execution of ideas does
    • A rule of capitalism: whoever takes the most financial risk gets the rewards
    • The biggest rewards will always go to those that fund it and own it
    • To get rich, be the owner. Own as close to 100% as possible

 

Entrepreneur Looking To Innovate

  • 10x improvement
    • Your solution should be at minimum 10x better than anything else available. 
  • Competitive markets destroy profits
  • When a team with a reputation for brilliance takes on a business with a reputation for bad economics, it's the reputation of the business that remains intact
  • Start small and monopolize
    • Start with a very small market. Always err on the side of starting too small
  • Don't disrupt
    • Start small and craft a plan to expand into adjacent markets, don't disrupt: avoid competition as much as possible
  • Underdo your competition
    • Do less but better. Be part of the stripped down, focused mission.
  • Outside money is plan Z
  • The best business strategy is a people strategy
    • Pay for the person, not the role
    • You cannot buy loyalty
    • A players like to work with other A players, which means you cannot indulge B players
    • Talent draws capital but capital does not draw talent
    • Be ridiculously selective on talent and quickly remove people who hold the team back
    • Shamelessly imitate success
      • Imitate the best strategies of your competitors
      • The market doesn't care about your personal need to be unique
      • It's selfless and humble to use the best ideas regardless of source, to create the best service or product for your customers
      • Get great at executing other people's ideas as well as your own
    • Doing is better than perfect
      • Launch now
      • Ignore the details early on
      • Good enough is fine
      • Move. Develop and improve. Don't fight for perfection when it's not necessary
    • If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate
      • Delegate to learn how to make sure of other people's talents
    • Separate thinking and execution to execute faster and think better
    • Benefit from human nature
      • Instead of complaining about the downside of human nature, find ways to benefit from it.
      • Instead of complaining about the rules, learn the game, then play it
    • Sales matter just as much as product
    • Press releases are spam
      • Forget about The Wall Street Journal, niche media is more relevant
    • Building to flip is building to flop
    • The most important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right questions.