When Do You Know if You Have a Good Idea?

by Dru Wynings. Average Reading Time: about a minute.


Who do run the great ideas? but you know what, there’s a lot of controversy about trying to figure our which ones are good versus bad. That’s one of those questions… It just depends on the nature of the industry but I’ll give you an example of the group that I don’t trust versus the one I trust more. If you start using something like focus groups, especially if it’s a new, sort of a radical innovation people have never seen, they’re now very valuable… This notion of going directly where uses are actually operating is probably a good idea. And the other thing that you want to be careful of is selling ideas to managers who manage work they don’t understand. You’ll only get into trouble at this as well. If you look at the fate of most enterprise software that’s implemented, the average implementation fails and typically, it’s sold to an IT department with no discussion with the users at all like Stanford having this horrible Oracle implementation right now. It is absolutely horrible and Stanford systematically ignored the involved users in it. So that’s like sort of one pathway. But, I mean, there are ideas and ways to increase your odds of success but for the most part, I think innovation is a business that’s fraught to failure and you got to accept that.

Robert I. Sutton, Stanford University – When Do You Know if You Have a Good Idea?.