What is Innovation

September 18, 2014 By Ron Immink

What does innovation mean for SMEs. If you belief “Killing giants”, SMEs are ready, able, capable and willing to take on the giants. The author of “entrepreneur revolution” beliefs that our time is NOW.

What does innovation mean for SMEs. If you belief “Killing giants”, SMEs are ready, able, capable and willing to take on the giants. The author of “entrepreneur revolution” beliefs that our time is NOW.

We are doing some research into what innovation means to SMEs. It has only question, and you guessed it “What does innovation mean to you and your business? If you could take the time to drop us an e-mail (ron@bookbuzz.biz) with that answer, we will collate, feed it back to all the participants and publish the findings. We think it will make an interesting read. Heck, there might even be a book in it.


Here is some context and contrast

Innovators dilemma

“The innovators dilemma” changed the pace of innovation forever. It was the first book that suggested that the consequence of true innovation is the destruction of your existing business model.

Digital disruption

A recent article in Harvard Business Review went even further and talked about big-bang-disruption which can kill off your company overnight. “Digital disruption” poses the same question. What will happen if Coderdojo dudes utilise the free software and the virality and power of free global platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn iTunes and Twitter to launch a product that is better and cheaper than yours?


Let’s take it one step further. Chris Anderson in “Free” claims that the consequence of technology and global hyper competition is that most products and service are delivered for free. How do you design a business model around that?


Business Model Innovation Factory gives up on “normal” innovation and asks the question why innovation is not working. The answer; would you stay in your own house when the builders are refurbishing the downstairs floor? It is the death by 1000 initiatives, legacy systems and IT not supporting the project and the management team not being really committed.


“Demand” uses the now famous example of the Kindle, where Jeff told a team to get out of the building and go and destroy Amazon as we know it (and he gave them a few Sony E-readers as well). The book asks why some innovations make it, and a lot don’t. The key trick identified to do very thorough hassle mapping. The successful products solve a hassle.

What would Google do

In “what would Google do” it raises the question of what you could do if you had the 20% rule of Google and a constant feedback machine that can get you instant success indication on the ideas that are being created.


“The chaos imperative” makes it very simple. It has 3 rules. Create whitespace (the 20%), find the mavericks and create serendipity. That’s it (and that is the book).

Good news

The good news is in “The innovators DNA”. Everybody can do this. Observing, networking (serendipity), experimenting, associating and most important of all questioning. It introduces question storming as the key tool.

Future babble

“Flash foresight” would claim that most innovation is right in front of you. There are mega trends that you can ride; there are key demographic indicators that will tell you where the market is going. “Megachange” tell you what they are. “Future babble” will tell you that that is rubbish. You can’t predict the future.

Enough there to get you going

If you combine that with “The wide lens” which talks about the need to map the value chains and eco system of your clients, suppliers and your own company and “Infinite possibilities” on where you could bring your product or service digitally and you have enough to start looking for the gaps of where big companies can’t go.

Killing giants

This brings us back to “Killing giants”. They can’t follow you on thin ice, they won’t eat the bug and they don’t have the speed. This is where your opportunity lies.

Back to the question?

Let us know what you think.

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