Lately I have been enjoying a series on Bloomberg TV called Game Changers. It profiles people in art, technology, and culture. What I love most is to see the zoomed out picture of the people behind the success. To see them from where they were and then the obstacles they overcame all the way to success is a huge help.
People who have been successful for hundreds and thousands of years before have been limited to personal experience and the experience of what they saw around them. Very few people in history have been privy to seeing what success looks like before it is success and along the way. This gives people now a huge advantage. Gone are the days of having to wonder if you are crazy or if you are even on the right track.
Fast forward, there are many people today in business and innovation fields that essentially got their degree (enough information to get in the game) and then started working on whatever success they were going to chase. From there they are generally limiting their success to the bits of information around them and their own experience. You have to keep your eyes open. You can get so focused on your own innovation you can lose track of the world. Things are changing constantly and if you don’t keep your eyes on your competition and other innovators, you may not see your product or services position is slowly changing.
Working on old information can happen to those on the cutting edge sometimes more than others because they are so entrenched in bringing their project to life. Working on old innovation can be a killer especially in the changing environment of technology. Keep one eye and both hands on your project, but you need to go Goonies on it and let one eye wander to your competition, your industry, and innovation that isn’t even directly related to your industry… Pay attention and you won’t suffer when the world shifts under your innovation..