Guerilla Innovation Chapter Fourteen
Run to the Jungle
I’ve written what amounts to a short book on innovation for small business these last couple months. I’ve called it Guerilla Innovation (the starting post is here) and I’ve targeted those who want to create a start-up, or, are internal innovators at companies who have little experience with innovation (and innovation-speak). This is a basic, but I think highly useful, field-guide-like innovation book for small business. Every business starts as a small business, so, I’m not limiting the book to those who don’t have much ambition — I merely wanted to provide a more readable, more practical, approach to innovation without all the “MBA-speak”.
In the spirit of providing real value in this blog, I’ve posted my chapters for Guerilla Innovation and made them available, free, for all to read and use. This is the final chapter. There is a great deal more to say about innovation, particularly in the operational sense, but there is so much already written on that stuff I feel like I’d be re-creating the wheel. This book was about the “how to” of getting started with innovation, and I think this has been accomplished. I reserve the right to post more on the subject, but for now — here are my final thoughts:
- Going Guerrilla as an innovator is a life style choice. It’s pretty much an “all in” game, at least mentally. If you want to succeed as a small business innovator, you’d better be prepared to put your mind, heart, soul and bank account on the line. This is not work for the faint of heart, so, if you are risk averse, fearful, pessimistic or cynical, you’d better deal with that before you jump into the jungle.
- Creating something new takes time. If your life circumstances have you married to a job and with few resources, getting your own venture off the ground could take years, even if you put your heart and soul into it. Still, have hope, because there are hidden resources all around you and the market is more open and democratic now than it has ever been. When I see people doing amazing projects with Kickstarter or WeFunder — average people with an idea and virtually no money to start — one can take heart, dreams can come true. Don’t forget you can start small, start part-time, and it could be a very simple idea. Famous Amos simply made a very good chocolate chip cookie right? So, with hope in your heart, get started and keep going.
- I’ve tried to avoid MBA-speak in this blogged book, but the truth is there is much to learn about business in general and innovation in particular — you should make the effort to do so. Do your own MBA. Start with my business novel Jack’s Notebook, move on to Eric Reis’ The Lean StartUp, read Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Innovation, and complete the mini-course with the Peter Diamandis tome, Abundance. There are other good books by folks like Seth Godin (I like Tribes a good deal) and Guy Kawasaki. The point here is you should read these books, and, keep up with busienss trends by reading on the web. This is part of what Guerilla Innovators do.
- Speaking of learning, I’ll summarise a lot of the chapters of this online book in one phrase: how you create something new and different usually means you know a great deal about the area you are trying to innovate in. If you dive into the jungle, you need to become an expert in your arena. Put in the work, learn, learn, learn. It’s the jumping off point for innovation.
You can’t connect the dots if you don’t know any dots. And as my dear departed father once said, “you can’t do business sitting on your ass”. So, you have a choice to make. Are you going to don a black beret and dive into the jungle and become a Guerilla Innovator? Or, are you going to sit in an easy chair and watch a football game?
All the best whatever you choose, and do tell me your stories as they unfold. I’m not the Che Guevera of the innovation world (although I do wear a beret) but I am a resource. If you want ideas, or advice, I’m here to help.
And please, direct your friends to this online book if you think they’ll find it useful.
Now, run to the jungle.
The pre-cursor book to this online book on small business innovation (aka Guerrilla Innovation) is Jack’s Notebook, a business novel about creative problem solving. This is a great story that blends all the concepts of Guerrilla Innovation into one fast-paced, thriller type book. Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is a fundamental innovation skill, so, I suggest you read, and use, Jack’s Notebook.