Learn before innovating
Starting an enterprise presupposes knowing how to do something better than the others:
- either a better Offer because it brings a new Value,
- or an offer than brings the same Value at a lower price.
This presupposes that we start by understanding the Offers on the Market and/or the Processes which allow them to be Produced and Distributed.
If the transfer of know-how does not exist, each human being would be forced to reinvent everything him- or herself: humanity would not be able to progress, as all knowledge accumulated during a lifetime would not be passed on.
Luckily, from our earliest age, our parents, relations, school, enterprise, media... transfer know-how to us, the basis to which we can add our own contributions, which may perhaps be useful to our successors. This is the principle of research: we base our original result on a list of publications containing the leavens of this result. We learn how to do well by observing those that know how, before innovating ourselves.
We must therefore be on our guard against speeches that recommend learning nothing from the others so as not to stifle our imagination. Even geniuses like Mozart or Picasso would not have been able to express themselves if we had not taught them musical notation or drawing techniques.
That is what explains that a majority of entrepreneurs have started by learning a job before thinking about improving it.
In other words, creation requires 90% work and 10% talent; the work taking place before and after innovation.
Continuous innovation or disruptive innovation
Improvement can be a succession of minor breakthroughs (see the German automobile industry) or disruptive (Google versus the encyclopedia). Continuous innovation is more the distinctive feature of large Enterprises, whereas disruptive innovation is suited to Enterprise start-ups. If a large Enterprise wants to invest in disruptive innovation, it is recommended that it isolate the team that has to create the new Model in an isolated structure: this is "intrapreneurship".
The strategy of some large companies consists of acquiring small innovative companies because they recognize they are not able to innovate: not because they lack smart brains, but because their governance and procedures do not favor innovation.
The story of George the Baker is made available under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution - NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.