Innovating at Scale

Innovating at Scale
April 8, 2021 Donald Farmer

In my years innovating and advising on innovation, almost every founder I have spoken to has a great idea. Often it is too similar to someone else’s great idea. Sometimes they can’t build it or sell it. But still, they have an initial promising concept with the goal innovating at scale.

More rarely, I meet someone who has worked on one great idea and then gone on to have another. A rarer case by far is an Edison, a Tesla, a Jobs or the extraordinary Shunpei Yamazaki who has been granted over 5000 patents.

Somewhere between the occasional good idea and those prolific geniuses it is quite possible to be continuously innovative. It’s not so much an art as a practice: one we can learn and develop.

At Nobody Studios, as a venture studio, we believe in continuously innovating: ideating, testing, developing and commercializing concept after with an exceptional cadence and quality. Part of the secret is understanding what makes innovation…innovative?

In my practice, I define innovation as fresh work that emerges from radical answers to the basic questions of our craft. We innovate when we respond to fundamental challenges not just in better ways, but in different ways. We need to break scenarios down into Who, What, Why, Where, When, How and then rebuild them anew and more effectively.

Along with this challenge of ideating again and again in different domains, we also must identify both promise and portents early in our development cycle. Failure is not a bad thing in innovation; if you are not occasionally failing, you are not trying hard enough. We also need a cadence of execution, marketing and support which can keep up with the pace of new ideas. In short, the art of this process is in bringing all the moving parts together again and again, systemically and effectively like a complex, but well-engineered gearbox.

The venture studio is a fine model for such a process. A studio enables shared ideas, shared practices, even shared tools and components when needed. When you’re inventing the future, you shouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel. We’re literally looking forward to doing much much more.

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