It’s commonly believed that the most innovative companies are those that have the best original ideas. I don’t believe that. If there was some way to formally test this, I would. I imagine it would look something like this. Choose ten well-established companies and give each of them an idea that would change their industry. Put no strings on this idea, no obligations no risk of lawsuit (okay we’re suspending believability at this point, but stay with me). Literally give each of them the holy grail of new ideas. What do you think would happen?
My guess is this:
- Four of the companies would table the idea, labeling it as a long-term objective that they could pursue once their near term (hopelessly incremental) ideas have been implemented. The idea would never surface again
- Three of the companies would indefinitely bat the idea around because they can’t decide which department should champion the idea
- Two would reject the idea outright because they would not have the current distribution network to get the product to market
- The final company would pursue the idea, but abandon it once they hit the first internal obstacle during the development process