Scott Berkun on Innovation

Scott Berkun has put together a small article on how to innovate right now.

He mentions that every innovator’s tool kit includes these three things:

  1. Questions
  2. Experiments
  3. Self-Reliance

Key points include:

  • Borrowing ideas from the Past – look at ways others have solved the solution before you then try variations on them
  • Ask a lot of questions
    • Why is it done this way?
    • Who started it and why?
    • What alternatives did they consider?
    • What are my or my friend’s biggest complaints about how it is now?
    • How has this been done in other locals, cultures, or throughout history?
    • What assumptions were made or constraints did they have?
    • How can I apply any of the above to what I do?
  • Try things yourself
    • There is no substitute for first hand experience when trying things
    • Don’t be afraid of risk – the bigger the innovation, the greater the risk
  • Try, Learn, and Try again
    • This could be called iterating your design
    • Remember what Edison is attributed for saying "I haven’t failed, I have found 10,000 ways that don’t work"

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