Usually, companies like Intuit fall into the trap described in Clayton Christensten’s The Innovator’s Dilemma: they are very good at creating incremental improvements to existing products and serving existing customers, which Christensen called sustaining innovation, but struggle to create breakthrough new products—disruptive innovation—that can create new sustainable sources of growth.
Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.
When you have only one test, you don’t have entrepreneurs, you have politicians, because you have to sell. Out of a hundred good ideas, you’ve got to sell your idea.
When you have five hundred tests you’re running, then everybody’s ideas can run. And then you create entrepreneurs who run and learn and can retest and relearn as opposed to a society of politicians.
The amount of time a company can count on holding on to market leadership to exploit its earlier innovations is shrinking, and this creates an imperative for even the most entrenched companies to invest in innovation.
A company’s only sustainable path to long-term economic growth is to build an “innovation factory” that uses Lean Startup techniques to create disruptive innovations on a continuous basis.
I explained the theory of the Lean Startup, repeating my definition: an organization designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
Brad explained to me how they hold themselves accountable for their new innovation efforts by measuring two things: the number of customers using products that didn’t exist three years ago and the percentage
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries