I enjoyed reading about the innovators in this reading and I particularly enjoyed reading the footnotes. I actually laughed out loud when I read some. Table 2-1 is the essence of the article in reference format; one that I am sure I will refer to again later in my career. The two themes for innovation that stand out most to me right now are 1) customer-focus and 2) recognition of patterns.
Being customer focused is necessary because that is how you know you "are" or "are not" bringing value. It can also give you clues as to when to pivot and how. Understanding the customer is critical for success and sustainability.
Recognition of patterns for innovation is key for being able to connect the dots and invent. This is why learning different skills can help a person become better at innovation, because as patterns are recognized in one skill as being similar to another, ideas can be shared or transferred. Patterns can also be sources of information to indicate where the consumer finds value or what works and what doesn’t. Bill James says, reviewing old data in new ways might highlight a pattern, this can lead to innovation. Combine this method with Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation concept for industry transformation and you will likely find a story like the one of Netflix. Netflix saw that Blockbuster was making most of its revenues from late fees. Recognizing the pattern that there are many people turning movies in late, they made this a strength for their business. In fact, the longer you keep the movie, the better off Netflix is. Netflix has transformed the movie rental business by combining the pattern they saw of late rentals with simplicity (rent one anywhere) with affordability (a dollar, really?).