Two articles give different views of the battlefield that is cleantech entrepreneurship these days: one from 1000’ and the other from the trenches. They offer a good lesson on the importance of having an innovation strategy informed by history more than hyperbole. Continue reading
The more dire the climate change predictions, the louder the calls for new and disruptive technologies. While it’s a great aspiration, as a theory disruptive innovation provides dangerous guidance on how disruption really happens. Continue reading
The business world has embraced the notion of disruptive technologies and, in large part, so has the public sector, and yet so many of the most significant innovations have been tipped by disruptive policies, not technologies. Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned before, people often think entrepreneurship is a one-idea, one-shot game: you have a great idea and you pursue it until it makes you rich or makes you run back home. That’s a shame because it keeps people from exploring entrepreneurship as a career. It’s like thinking only rock stars can have careers in music. In truth, most entrepreneurs take part in multiple startups before launching their own, and they play many different roles besides the rock star. Continue reading
Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mark Suster provides a great example of the educational value inherent in making mistakes. And, since the only thing that comes close to learning from failure is learning from other people’s failures, this is a great interview where he shares the main mistakes he made in his first company. Continue reading
Baked into most stories of technology revolutions is the misconception that new technologies disrupt older ones because of some distinctive advantage. Sometimes it’s just the opposite. From the light bulb to the computer to solar power, the fate of innovations (and of the companies that bet on them) hinges less on technical superiority than on the details of their designs. When developing new products, the challenge is to balance performance with the need to be accepted.
Innovation is hard, but sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be. It’s a lesson we could all use, but especially big companies betting millions on sustaining innovations. Continue reading