Trials and tribulations of corporate innovators.
Corporate innovation isn't easy.
A great majority of new products fail. There are always a number of internal initiatives that look more promising and easier than innovating.
Innovators must concurrently develop their ideas and advocate for them internally. Ignoring either of these usually leads to failure.
The best way to de-risk ideas is by running experiments. Lots of them. Learning from the customers is a rather humbling experience.
And so is selling ideas internally. Some just won't get them. Others will oppose them on principle or for some other opaque reason. Support will be like an ebb and flow of the sea.
Plans will change. Not always for the better. Tough decisions will have to be made. There will never be enough data. Doubt will always creep. At one moment things will get bad. Real bad.
Results can be greatly delayed. It can be tough to cope with the fact that five years of work has led to so little.
Dipping toes—as in, trying to innovate part-time—will have all of the above downsides, with greatly reduced upsides.
For above reasons, it's critical that one approaches corporate innovation with an indomitable intent. Anything less might lead to disappointment.
Just remember that the ultimate goal of innovation is to create value, not bring an idea to life at any cost.
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