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The Traditional Innovation Funnel is Broken

We need new rules

The innovation game has changed.

As the cost of building and launching new products has plummeted, there's been a worldwide explosion in the number of new products created each year. Customers today have many more choices, and the barriers to switching are at an all-time low.

This is happening across every industry, and this shift dramatically impacts how you build your innovation portfolio.

Are you ready?


Speed of learning is the new unfair advantage.

Finding the next big idea is no longer about running long incubation cycles on a few big bets. It's about rapid iteration on many small bets.

But this is easier said than done because going fast under extreme uncertainty breaks the traditional innovation funnel.

The New Rules

Winning in the new world requires a rethinking of the traditional innovation funnel.

Meet the Continuous Innovation funnel:

These are the 3 top rules for taming your innovation portfolio:

1. Lightweight Business Modeling vs. Heavyweight Business Planning

When teams are moving fast, heavy-weight business plans are too static, and a no-plan strategy is never a good idea.

This is where lightweight business modeling comes in.

It is possible to deconstruct any idea into a multi-faceted business model:

2. Normalized Outcome vs. Output Progress Metrics

Simply measuring the execution of a flawed plan isn’t progress.

The goal of a startup is to create a repeatable and scalable business model. Traction is the measure of a working business model.

Once you normalize your portfolio by traction, you can visualize and compare any business model in your funnel/portfolio.

3. Systematic vs. Unstructured

While the early stage is often characterized as highly creative, it doesn’t have to be unstructured. Creativity and discipline aren’t at odds with each other.

If you want predictable results, you need to invest in building repeatable systems and processes.

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