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Innovation Insights
by Stephen Shapiro

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Tip 6: The Difference Between a Pipeline and a Sewer is what Flows Through It

Summary of Tip 6 (of 40) from Best Practices Are Stupid.

The Difference Between a Pipeline and a Sewer is what Flows Through It

With tip 6 (of 40), we move into the “process” portion of the Best Practices Are Stupid book.

We explore the need for diversification.

Too many safe bets, in the long run, are unsafe.

If you only invest in incremental innovation, you may miss big opportunities. Conversely, if you always swing for the fences (i.e., placing risky bets), you may fail too many times before you have a success.

The key is creating an innovation portfolio with four different categories of risk:

  • Incremental Innovation
  • Adaptive Innovation
  • Technological Innovation
  • Radical Innovation

The tip in the book goes into a lot more detail on this framework.

The next tip addresses a fundamental but critical concept of problem framing: The Goldilocks Principle.