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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mosh Pit & Innovation Models

Kathy Sierra opens a new discussion on the best model of innovation - once that is centered on ideas as against one that is focussed on execution. Professionals in any field come in two flavors: Knowledge Sharers and Knowledge Hoarders. The hoarders believe in the value of their "Intellectual Property"(IP). The products of their mind must be carefully guarded lest anyone steal their precious ideas. But let's face it-if our only "strategic advantage" is our ideas, we're probably screwed. It is mostly the case that ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions. To look at the best example, enterprises having the top ranks in scoring patents may not necessarily be seean as scoring similar ranks in being innovative.
I partially agree with Kathy when she writes, t
- It's our implementation, not our idea that matters
- It's how we apply those ideas.
- How creative we are.
- How useful we are.
- How brave we are.
- How technically skilled we are.
- How we anticipate what our users will love.
- How we learn from the ideas and work of others

Come to think of it, the movement of sharing is interlinked in many ways to the internet, its open model. Building a think alike community in the past used to be a time consuming / lengthy process - the internet had bypassed that route and brought in the ability to bring together like minded community. Sharing, debating and learning all have become quite easy, fulfilling and rewarding - in many ways this is setting the pace for evolution of knowledge itself. So will have to agree in large measures with Kathy when she writes, "The barrier to entry today is way too low to use "intellectual property" as a main advantage. And all too often, we think we have a unique idea only to find that others are-independently-doing the same things". After all an automatic random word writer can't write a book, just as a program generator can't by itself create a business application. May be I want to bring in a distinction here - most of the basic/core ideas follow this trend. No doubt when it comes to building complex ideas/value added ideas things may change - but what does not change even there is the fact that one can reach that stage only by being focussed on execution. Verdict : Ideas and Execution need to go hand-in-hand to be successful. The think -do-communicate-act framework is simply irrresitible to think beyond. Only exception : when creating something quite new - say a seminal idea, new business model ideas may have a disproportionate interest but action also plays a part therein. In general, deep thinking & bias for action need to go hand-in-hand for being innovative and successful.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"