The Innovation Puzzle


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 11.44.09 PMGeekwire recently reported on Jeff Bezos annual letter to shareholders where the one single consistent focus was on ‘innovation’. This according to Geekwire “makes Bezos one of the world’s most important entrepreneurs.” 

In 2012 Mark Zuckerberg penned an open letter to potential investors, where one of the points he made was that at facebook they have a saying: “Move fast and break things.”

Forbes has an article on “How To Drive Innovation In Five Steps”; MIT is talking about leadership in innovation. Essentially every time I scan my news feed I am hearing about innovation in various formats. In short, everyone is talking about it.  The more I read about it, the more fascinated I am and the more puzzled I am by the idea of of ‘innovation’.

Here are just some of the questions that I am pondering on:

  • Is innovation the new ‘it’ term being used in the startup sector, just like ‘code ninja’ or ‘social media guru’ etc etc…you get the gist?
  • What is innovation? Is it a philosophy? Can it be distilled as a management model for greater productivity? Is there a policy framework that can be created to facilitate innovation?
  • Can ‘innovation’ and ‘disruption’ be used interchangeably? It is so common today to hear the new cool startup talk about being innovative and disrupting the xyz market it is in.
  • Is innovation as used in the start up and venture capital circles thought of as a vehicle for speed, instant returns and quick exits or is it a tool for long term sustainable growth?

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