The trouble with beautiful, stupid innovation

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
The top reasons startups fail is often related to poor consideration of commercial realities. Source:
McKinsey’s Three Horizon model for business extension

Thinkers and Doers

The typical flow of corporate ‘innovation’ smells of hippo. (or “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion” to you and me)
The common misunderstanding of the payback of an idea revolves around an implicit assumption that ideas remain as certain of success until they’re delivered, as well as an overly common assignment of fixed resource from beginning to end of delivery.
A beautifully simple explanation of how we hope to see uncertainty fall, and costs increase, courtesy of Erdin Beshimov @ MIT. Erdin reminds me that the value of the project should rise with time too.

Innovation is not a four box model

Research — Ideation — MVP — Delivery. Just another incorrect four-box model of innovation

A grand unified theory for developing new propositions

A simple model for uncovering ever better reasons to keep developing an idea. What assumption do we need to test? What is the team? How long will they need? When they’re done, what will we know that we didn’t before?
There are many validation activities, from market research to code spikes or Design Sprints and pop-up shops.

The art of thinking small

Big spending (and big projects) doesn’t necessarily result in big benefits (source:

Embedding the discipline

This Series


Technologist, lean evangelist, chaos monkey and Chief Technology Prevention Officer. Loves good coffee, hanging around on ropes and driving about in cars

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store