Friday, January 15, 2010

Simplifying Innovation, a 5-step system for doubling speed to market and new product profits with your existing resources

I recently read Simplifying Innovation, a 5-step system for doubling speed to market and new product profits with your existing resources by Michael Dalton.

He calls it a theory of constraints business model.

"Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" - Albert Einstein

This is one of those books that is written in storybook style. I'm not a big advocate of this type of writing, following fictitious people around and figuring out how they like their steak is not particularly interesting to me.

That said, the book is interesting and has a number of valid points. If you just wanted the business points of the book, you could quickly read through it and find the summaries which are italicized.

The theory of the book is that there are always bottlenecks in any innovation. The key is to identify those bottlenecks and figure out how to get through them more quickly.

One other part of the thesis is high focus pays and having less people on a project, spending more of their time on it, is likely to get better results than having more people spend less of their time.

As I'm reading the book, I'm thinking of how this plays with my Fail Often. Fail Fast. Fail Cheap. mantra that I often repeat. Where I think it's used slightly differently is the innovation the book is talking about is primarily development, not necessarily the pure research, or alternatively it's the execution or the implementation which is often a shortcoming in companies.

Fail Often. Fail Fast, Fail Cheap is one way to generate a lot of ideas, then figure out which ones are working and put more resources into the ones that are working.

The book did talk about DADS (Device Attention Deficit Syndrome), caused by Blackberries and cell phones. Ironically, even though I am a huge Blackberry user and a big advocate (and I sit on the board of RIM), I do see some validity to DADS. If DADS is a problem, it means the device is not being used as it should be used - as a productivity device.

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."-Frederic Chopin

It's a good book, appropriate for anyone involved in the development of products.


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Jim,.

The "sales factory"...and TOC..

TOC or Theory of Constraints has surfaced in the last 5 years in sales productivity and sales process improvement as a methodology of breaking down the sales process into integrated steps that can be scaled and measured.

The processes are very much connected, but each area can be throttled up or down. Also various top of funnel leadgen trails can be performed without affecting the rest of the chain (making proposals, meeting clients, closing, customer service. ie fail cheap.

As per CSOINsights surveys,, 50% of IT, telecom reps seldom make quota but still spend 40-45% of their time at the front end of the assembly line- prospecting, etc.(the constraint). A quick look on monster/workopolis shows 40-70% turnover in some IT companies.

my 2 cts from Georgetown,
Stuart Armstrong


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