Innovation

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” — Thomas A. Edison

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” — John Andrew Holmes

“It is not enough to ‘tolerate’ failure–you must ‘celebrate’ failure.” — Richard Farson in Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins

“In business, you reward people for taking risks. When it doesn’t work out, you promote them–because they were willing to try new things. If people tell me they skied all day and never fell down, I tell them to try a different mountain.” — Michael Bloomberg (BW 6.25.07)

“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.” — Dee Hock

“Incrementalism is innovation’s worst enemy.” — Nicholas Negroponte

“The iPod mini is the most successful product launch in the history of Apple . . . which is why today, we’re killing it . . . and introducing the iPod Nano.” — Steve Jobs

A study of 738 manufacturers by Georgia Tech found that companies pursuing innovation as a primary strategy made nearly double the profit margin as those who followed a strategy of low cost (14.5% vs. 7.5%)

“We wait for the next big thing and then jump on it.” — Steve Jobs

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” — Peter Drucker

“Nearly 100% of innovation — from business to politics — is inspired not by “market analysis” but by people who are supremely pissed off by the way things are.” — Tom Peters

“The most important question for innovators today is: What do you see that the competition doesn’t see? Answering that question requires vuja dé. And vuja dé requires a radical shift in perspective—which is why outsiders often see the future first. It’s also one of the big limitations of benchmarking. The most creative CEOs I’ve met don’t aspire to learn from the “best in class” in their industry—especially when the best in class aren’t all that great. They aspire to learn from companies far outside their field as a way to shake things up and make real change.” — Bill Taylor

“My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product. So, you know, I obviously believed in listening to customers, but customers can’t tell you about the next breakthrough that’s going to happen next year that’s going to change the whole industry. So you have to listen very carefully. But then you have to go and sort of stow away — you have to go hide away with people that really understand the technology, but also really care about the customers, and dream up this next breakthrough. And that’s my perspective, that everything starts with a great product.” — Steve Jobs (Newsweek)

“Cheaper is the last refuge of the marketer unable to invent a better product and tell a better story.” — Seth Godin