Friday, February 16, 2007

Innovation & Execution

Broad-brush, there are only two things that a startup needs to do to become a wild, runaway success:

1. Innovate
2. Execute

This might initially sound banal - but here's the subtlety:

From time to time, in the thick of product development, we have decided to trade off a little innovation from a feature's original conception in the name of better execution - but when we subtract a little innovation, we simultaneously raise the bar for successful execution - a 'me too' feature needs to be really kick-ass to move the needle, but an innovative feature can be a little rough around the edges.

Sometimes when we attempt to cut execution risk, we are actually increasing the odds against us. Anecdotally, it is pretty common to hear experienced people say: 'In hindsight, I should have taken bigger risks '

Good ideas are cheap - and you can use them to buy yourself a discount on the expensive/difficult stuff - superior execution.

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