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?"
"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.
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.