If Apple teaches us anything, it’s that effective innovation is about more than building beautiful cool things. A few thoughts for innovating well in your own shop:
Not All Innovation Is Equal
Technical innovation will earn you lots of adoring fans (think Apple). Business-model innovation will earn you lots of money (think Dell).
Innovate for Cash, Not Cachet
If your cool new thing doesn’t generate enough money to cover costs and make a profit, it isn’t innovation. It’s art.
Don’t Hoard Your Goodies
Getting to market on time and at the right price is vital. If that means licensing your idea to an outside manufacturer or marketer, do it.
Innovation Doesn’t Generate Growth. Management Does
If you covet awards for creativity, go to Hollywood. Managers get rewarded for results, which come from customers.
Attention Deficit Has No Place Here
Every innovation worth doing deserves your commitment. Don’t leap from one new thing to another. If your creation doesn’t appear important to you, it won’t be important to anyone else.