Slow Down Your Product Innovation To Speed It Up

 In Executive Strategy, Innovation, Leveraged Growth, Market Vision, Musings

Slow down your product innovation to speed it up

As an innovator, you strive to be the first. The best. The ground breaker. The trail blazer. “And with competitors on your tail, you must cross the finish line faster than you think. With the advent of newer, faster technologies this lightening pace can be set, but it can also lead to reaching too far too fast.” The proverbial foot in mouth can now be seen by the entire world in under 140 characters. And though striving to be at the top is the ultimate goal, it should not be the only goal.

Take A Breath

It’s happened to every entrepreneur, Ideas just seem to spew forth. You feel like nothing can stop your next new disruptive idea, whether it’s a new mobile app or a fancy new widget! When you get on a roll you feel like there is nothing stopping you. It is fantastic when you’re firing on all cylinders, but what happens when that ball gets out of control? Do you just let it roll off the cliff? No! It’s better to slam on the breaks. Take a minute. Take a breath. Look around you. Make sure the path you are currently on is the one that will get you to your ultimate destination. If not, change paths. Back track if you have to. It’s better to fix any problems early on, instead of dealing with a meltdown later. A meltdown that could ruin all your hard work. A meltdown that could send you back to the drawing board, or worse, ruin your reputation.

Take Your Time

Sometimes the ball does not start rolling. You get stuck right out of the gate. When the pressure to meet milestones and satisfy investors is on, this can lead to panic. Panic leads to fear. Fear leads to desperation. And desperate people make rash decisions. Some rash decisions, ultimately, prove fruitful, most crumble under the weight of poor planning and execution. Again I say, take a breath. Rushing in to an idea without a goal in mind, or without a bit of foresight and planning will guarantee mayhem down the road. The journey is just as important as the destination. And just like the tortoise humiliating the cocky hare, being methodical can differentiate the victorious from the vanquished. While your competition speeds ahead and makes careless mistakes at every turn, you can take time to problem solve and avoid major obstacles in your path. In the end, you’ll have a sound, marketable product and the rest will have a smoldering pile of half-baked schemes.

HBR Product Innovation Chart

A good reference from the Harvard Business Review.

Take A Chance

Did you fear falling off the monkey bars when you were a child? You climbed them anyway! Fear has the ability to stop would-be innovators in their tracks, it can also bring about great courage. Take that fear and use it. You have already conquered the greatest fear by forming a start-up, do not let the fear of failing deter you from your journey. Don’t be afraid of taking your time, or making mistakes. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that they have made many mistakes before they got it right. Mistakes are learning tools that will make your even stronger. Also, seek advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for experienced help or to offer help to others. You are the thought leader. You have that fresh take that turns the whole project around.

 

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