The thing about innovation – is that it really isn’t innovation if everyone you pitch it to immediately “gets it”.
Which creates a nice piece of circular logic – I’m innovating, so no one will understand. Since no one understands I must be innovating. Which is – as my grandmother used to say – happy horse-shit.
Innovation is built on commonly held premises. If you want to know if your problem is people not “getting it” because it is innovative – and thus beyond the range of their current world view- talk to them about the premises that led you to the innovation.
I spent lunch today talking to two very smart people about the future of communications – and that applications are the future, networks will be commodities. And that conversation was ok… where I think I lost them is when I moved to a user centered application development approach for communications.
All of a sudden we weren’t talking about how to let users use features of the network (as an application) and instead we were talking about leveraging the network as a tool to solve important problems for the customer via applications.
The innovation is an application first (as opposed to network first) communications model. A model that assumes the network is commoditized and ubiquitous. This breaks hundreds of years (in telecommunications) of business model and world view. Generally speaking that world view gap is what allows – or prevents – a person from “getting it” when it comes to your innovation.
The important part is that the premises you based the innovation on still garner nods of agreement. If they do – you are innovating. If they don’t it might just be an idea that legitimately makes no sense.