Yes, it stems in part from Easter, but it’s also about Megashark Versus Crocosaurus, which was in heavy rotation at our house last week.
On Friday, as we drove to school, Sam exclaimed, “Mommy! I have an egg! And it’s hatching!”
“What’s inside?” I asked.
“Mommy! I have another egg, and it’s hatching!”
“What’s inside?” I asked again.
“A baby triceratops!”
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
“Mommy, pretend there’s another egg inside of this egg, and it’s hatching!”
“Ooh, what’s inside?”
You call that innovation?
Somewhere along the way, most people settle for incremental improvement. What passes for innovation is simply a derivation of what’s gone before.
I suppose we do this because we have a significant fear of looking stupid. The most important thing is ensuring that our ideas are accepted.
Little kids don’t have these constraints.
Putting a six foot cyborg in a three inch plastic Easter egg.
Over coffee recently, my friend and mentor Mike Dougherty described a model for innovation. First, start with the wildest, most insane idea you can think of, then progressively pull it back until it’s doable (but preferably still insane).
This is the opposite of what most people do. Most of us start with what we have and figure out how we’re going to make it better. That’s not innovation. That’s evolution.
That’s not how Bill Gates created the personal computing market. It’s not how Steve Jobs invented the iPod, nor is it the way that Richard Branson made the idea of commercial space travel seem reasonable, nay inevitable, in our lifetime.
How did Robocop end up in that egg? Because Sam asked the question, “What’s the coolest thing I could put in this egg right now?” He didn’t wonder if it was possible, he just wondered.
Give it a try.
Want to read more on innovation? Try Innovation Part II.