Identify the right market: The other pressure of the market is getting to the core or right market for your innovation. This one impacts large companies, small companies, and startups. If you pick the wrong market, your innovation will struggle. Remember the market pressure there are thousands, millions maybe even billions of innovations lying on the floor for the most part undiscovered. Find your TAM and slide your innovation into a place that market will see and recognize.
Commitment to Innovation: So first let me explain why it’s a commitment through failure. In the world that is innovation, there are many types of commitments. In the world of failure, there aren’t as many. There is a conceptual commitment to failure. Once the failure occurs, the commitment is removed. There is a commitment around failure, where once the failure is reached the innovation is asked to create a workaround. Finally, there is the much broader commitment through failure where no matter what happens the commitment is there.
Each of the three commitments has a different impact. Understand that the impacts detailed below are the perfect world commitments. In reality, these vary within the parameters much more than the clean-cut view here would suggest.
- Commitment to Failure: There is a breakpoint a stoppage when a failure occurs. This allows the innovator to stop and look at the problem differently. There are several potential actions here one is to change the initial agreement to one of the next two commitments, and the other is to stop where you are, and put the innovation away for a while. Both of these are effective and will produce the desired innovation just at a different rate than originally projected.
- Commitment around failure: Once failure is reached we often throw up our hands and bemoan the failure. In this scenario rather than a full stop the innovator is encouraged to find an alternative route. At some point, the reality of this commitment may be that it drops back to one of commitment to failure or it may evolve into the last iteration of commitment.
- Commitment through failure: Edison knew that light bulbs were possible, Ford knew you could build an assembly line, NASA knew a human being could be put on the moon and returned safely, well with the word knew in this case we are now looking at the reality of knowing. Knew is believed. Believed is the commitment through failure. Apollo One exploded on the launch pad. They didn’t stop, well just long enough to mourn the three dead and move on.
Failure Models and Innovation/Innovators: It’s interesting as we consider the impact that commitment has on failure and vice versa that failure has on commitment. There are three types of commitment to, through and around that, I mentioned before. How the organization reacts to each of the commitments is, of course, the measure we talk about above. How the innovator reacts is an interesting reality. Edison failed more than 100 times as he chased the light bulb. He was invested in the success, and each failure made him work a little harder. There are reactions to failure that impact both the organization and the innovator’s commitment that are important to note.
· Failure = stop
· Failure = store idea and stop
· Failure = try things differently
· Failure = try again
· Failure = keep trying ad infinitum
Do you from time to time fail?