Product managers are frequently the ones that are tasked with driving innovation within their organizations. This should not come as a surprise, given that product managers, particularly excellent product managers, have a profound awareness of the user personas for their products and any market gaps. This information can occasionally lead to entirely ground-breaking ideas. However,…
It’s Time To “Make Rejection Great Again”
What is worse? Being rejected or being ignored?
While the pain from rejection can be severe, the closure that one gets from the rejection can allow people to move on to other things. When someone pours their heart and soul into an idea which they feel is great, then they hear nothing – nothing good or bad – then the lack of communication becomes one of the worst possible things you can do.
Are You Walking the Walk?
What do exercise and eating better have to do with innovation? All three are talked about extensively and effusively, and the follow through on all three is dismal. There is a lot of innovation talk, and very little innovation walk.
Imagine if I went to my economics teacher in 1987 and explained any one of these seemingly crazy ideas to them:
- I’m going to ask a ton of brilliant authors and historians to donate their time, write factual articles, check each other’s work, and not pay them a penny. Afterwards, I’ll offer their work for free.
- I’m going to have a horde of programmers develop all sorts of programs to make people’s lives easier. Their work will be gratis, and the users don’t have to pay.
- I’m going to move to Memphis, Tennessee, buy 14 airplanes, and compete with the postal service and charge less to deliver faster.
The teacher would ask me when I hit my head and how hard.
If you haven’t already put it together, the aforementioned ideas lead to Wikipedia, Google, and FedEx. They say hindsight is 20/20, so it’s easy to look back and marvel at the successes of innovative pioneers, but do you think these ideas were so critically acclaimed when pitched at their humble beginnings?
Were we ready to build a culture of innovation?
“They shut it down.”
He whispered the phrase to me reverently, with a touch of sadness. My colleague just met with me over lunch to tell me that they had decided to shutter the innovation lab. It had only been around for two years, and had done some awesomely interesting stuff, but for some reason, its time was up.