Another Social Economy Startup Life

Staying The Course When Being Disruptive Means Being Misunderstood

“To do disruptive innovation, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a very long time”. How RIM and others should be taking lessons learned from Amazon.

Bezos at shareholders mtg: “To do disruptive innovation, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a very long time.”

@bingfish bing gordon

Bingfish: Disruptive Innovation is Misunderstood
Bingfish: Disruptive Innovation is Misunderstood


Not too long ago I posted about the To Pivot, or, Not To Pivot dilemma. In the end, I rationalized plotting a course towards a more fitting Minimal Viable Target Audience (MVTA) to run the next Experiment, to gather more metrics, before even thinking about the next Pivot.

That Explains Things

Regarding, I relate to another Jeff Bezo statement:

We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details…. We don’t give up on things easily.

Regarding the bigger Innovation picture Jeff Bezo also stated:

A big piece of the story we tell ourselves about who we are, is that we are willing to invent. We are willing to think long-term. We start with the customer and work backwards. And, very importantly, we are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

I believe if you don’t have that set of things in your corporate culture, then you can’t do large-scale invention. You can do incremental invention, which is critically important for any company. But it is very difficult — if you are not willing to be misunderstood. People will misunderstand you.

Lesson To Learn

For RIM (and I’m sure many others)

In stark contrast, just take a look at the Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him.

1) Focus on the End User experience

Let’s obsess about what is best for the end user. We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice — the end user doesn’t care. We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work

There’s certainly some passion left inside of RIM, maybe they just need to think back to their startup days. Maybe they need someone like  Jeff Bezo to backup the open letter author of:

It’s time to change the culture to deliver or move on and get out

For AnotherSocialEconomy

We’re staying the course! I still love it. And I still think it’s just a matter of time until we find same-minded collaborators who can help us be better understood.  In the meantime, while we do have the right culture, we are coachable, we still need to focus more on the end user experience.

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