Why is innovation difficult?

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Fail faster


The merits of failing faster are integrated with taking risks. Successful innovations only come after many failed attempts. Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, explores the intersection of open source and innovation in a Technology Academy Finland (TAF) post "What is Innovation?"

Mickos says:

"An innovation creates a new dimension of performance. It's not enough to improve performance. It’s not enough to create a new thought. A new thing is not an innovation unless it finds a new direction for performance."

He explains that innovation doesn't require a PHD, and that open source development is a great example of innovation and a way to bring different opinions together to advance technology.

"Open source software is an innovation in that it brings together in a productive way programmers who disagree on many things," Mickos said. He goes on to list other examples such as Facebook, the touchscreen, and e-learning.

> Read the full post at TAF

I agree with Mickos. It takes a release often, release early mentality with a fail early, fail often approach to develop innovations that create a new performance dimension. One of the hardest perceptions to break, tied to innovation, is that they happen in a laboratory setting and require a lab coat.

This is not the case in the 21st century as we see from the examples above—Facebook was not made in a science lab. Innovations are being created in dorm rooms, home garages, collaboratively on the Internet, and beyond.

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and Opensource.com community publications.


Fail often, fail early. Failing early is cheaper than failing late and it teaches you what to avoid so you won't fail late. :)

Yeah, early and often is a good precaution. But in business, it is impossible to not make a mistake, as in everything else in life. So early and often won't cut it then. Innovation, at least to me, is an inevitability

It's important to know that you always have to innovate. Yes, innovation is a risky thing. It may cause premature "goodbyes." But, with no innovation, one is just postponing "goodbye". One is making no changes. And as we all know, whatever remains stagnant will eventually be eliminated from society.

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