I was reading this very interesting innovation issue of business week the other day. I'm a big fan of Bezos, because he is the example that bald people can be successful too! No seriously, every interview I read with him he is sharp, with a great dose of humour.
Anyway some of his thoughts on Innovation I like, here are a few takeaways for me:
- constraints like frugality drives innovation
- At first I thought this is another way of saying necessity is the mother of all invention. After a little bit more thinking, I think Bezos is saying my business is a low margins business and it doesn't mean I can't innovate, it means I have to be really smart about how I make money. You would think this would push a lot of process innovation, which they have done a fantastic job of at Amazon, they never ever share anything related to their infrastructure/logistic this is the secret sauce for him - but this is only one side of it.
- you have to be willing to be misunderstood to innovate
- This is cliché, and it doesn't have to be rocket science innovation where one starts to be mis-understood, it's all kinds, the little things. Make sure you check often, and check with the people who will want to pay for it, or are already paying if you can swing it!
- because it's new - companies get skilled focused, why should we do that, we don't have any skills in that area, a more stable strategy is what do my customers need? And inventory the gap in your skills from there.
- It's the CUSTOMER, get him/her on your Innovation bus if you want to go anywhere!!!