7 sins of innovation

UXCAMPHH 2019

1) invent the wheel

you are too late. you know, the wheel has already be invented. Furthermore, please mind the difference between invention and innovation.

2) be too early

inventions need a context and an infrastructure to succeed. inventions need a state of eager society to adopt the change. culture and zeitgeist need to be ready to embrace the invention and make it an innovation.


ca.1916: Lady Norman on her scooter /via

3) choose a fancy sci-fi name for the lab

your innovation research takes time and slack and experiments (and failures!). a boring name supports this stealth mission.

Stay small, avoid hype, and pick a boring name. […] We had a contest to come up with the most innocuous name that didn’t sound ridiculous. “Communications Design Group” is pretty vague, because what we’re likely to [invent] will be something other than what we’d put on a list. [But] the communication and design aspects do mean something. People communicate with each other, with themselves, in groups, with computers, and computers communicate with each other. If you take all the things in the world that can communicate and think of a future in which all those communications are qualitatively richer, then you have a vision. – Alan Kay

4) set a goal

you will only get what you required. though, rigit requirements should not constrain the process in the beginning.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

5) build a competitive group

competition is the opposite of an open and transparent environment with a free exchange of ideas and inspiration.


/by Manu Cornet

6) manage the progress

follow Ivan Sutherland’s carrot model of innovation. (not really):

There are those who believe in the carrot theory of research management. I have to describe the carrot theory of research management: Research is like growing carrots. And the way you manage that is you pull them out every week and look at how they hang and put them back in the ground. And if in fact you have in fact lots and lots of research reviews and you demand that and your people report their progress and have breakthroughs in a timely fashion, you are not likely to get much.

7) expect early ROI

real innovation takes time. there is no silver bullet. but there might be a shortcut:


Bill Buxton’s Long Nose of Innovation might lead to the hype curve
/via An Urania. Blick. Zurück. Nach Vorn. IA Konferenz Berlin 2016

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