After reading Scott Berkun’s excellent mega summary of 177 Myths of Innovation I was inspired to create a list of 177 truths of innovation, derived solely from reversing or negating the stated myths of innovation. Some of the results are interesting, others are obvious and a few are nicely provocative.

  • Innovators had unhappy lives
  • Innovators need others to succeed
  • You don’t need to stay positive
  • You can’t remember everything
  • Companies of any size and any age innovate
  • Many great ideas are needed
  • It’s better to take risks
  • Innovation is a full time activity
  • You don’t need more new ideas
  • Innovation is the whole company
  • You don’t need to let loose
  • Innovation isn’t radical departure
  • Mistakes are cheap
  • Detours are ok
  • Innovation isn’t about creating new things
  • Creativity can come from anyone
  • Money isn’t a motivator
  • Creativity isn’t fueled by time pressure
  • Fear doesn’t force breakthroughs
  • Collaboration beats competition
  • Streamlining the organization and creativity have no relation
  • Innovation can be managed
  • People will use process
  • There is a defined process
  • Creativity isn’t stifled by excessive management
  • Innovation isn’t about the technology
  • More resources doesn’t equal more innovation
  • Any size bang can count as success
  • Innovation is predictable
  • You can teach people to be more innovative
  • You innovate anywhere, any time
  • Product cycles are the same as they ever where
  • You don’t need a chief innovation officer
  • You don’t need to be like Google
  • R&D investment doesn’t indicate your commitment to innovation
  • Egotistical mavericks aren’t any more innovative than the rest of us
  • Innovation doesn’t necessarily disrupt
  • Innovation isn’t inherently good
  • Innovation can be easy
  • Innovation dies for any number of reasons
  • Innovation is any industry
  • Innovation isn’t inventing new product
  • Innovation isn’t R&D
  • Innovation is for little people
  • Innovation is necessary
  • The solitary genius isn’t responsible
  • It’s not about the technology
  • Innovation isn’t what’s ‘new to the world’
  • Innovation can be managed
  • Creativity and discipline fraternize well
  • There is no epiphany
  • We don’t understand the history of innovation
  • There isn’t a method
  • New ideas aren’t necessarily attractive
  • No inventor works alone
  • Good ideas can be easy to find
  • Your boss doesn’t know more than you
  • The best idea doesn’t necessarily win
  • Problems and solutions are equally interesting
  • Innovation isn’t always good
  • Innovation applies to anything, not just technology and products
  • Innovation can be a short term project
  • Innovation happens intentionally
  • It’s OK to lose track of the ball
  • Failure is an option
  • People don’t love innovators
  • Innovators don’t necessarily solve problems
  • Knowledge is not power
  • You can’t predict innovation
  • First place doesn’t always win
  • Creativity doesn’t need to be fun
  • Many ideas are bad
  • Innovation isn’t entrepreneurship
  • There is no creative imperative
  • Technology doesn’t drive innovation
  • Pursuit of innovation doesn’t guarantee it will come
  • Innovation isn’t the result of a particular perspective (outside-in/inside-out)
  • Good things can happen if you open up your business process
  • You understand your business and IT better than a vendor
  • Innovation isn’t constrained by your budget
  • You can’t purchase innovation
  • You don’t need a good new idea
  • You won’t recognize a breakthrough
  • Don’t think you can rest once the idea is implemented
  • There is no eureka moment
  • They won’t come just because you built it
  • Innovation will continue in open and closed environments
  • Pay has little effect
  • The direction of innovation isn’t important (top vs. bottom)
  • Innovation can be small hops
  • Non-technical people innovate
  • Innovation can happen on-site with regular people
  • There isn’t a special breed of person who innovates
  • Innovation isn’t about your ideas
  • Great leaders can fail at innovation
  • Effective innovators may work with the system
  • Not everyone can be an innovator
  • Real innovation happens both bottom-up and top-down
  • Innovation can’t be embedded insight an organization
  • It doesn’t take wholesale change to initiate innovation
  • Innovation happens outside skunk works
  • Innovation can be managed and orderly
  • Companies in any stage can innovate
  • Innovation can be taught
  • You don’t need a stroke of genius for breakthrough innovation
  • Innovation should happen outside of R&D
  • Innovation doesn’t need to be risky
  • Innovation isn’t about commercializing cutting edge technologies
  • Innovation can be cheap
  • Innovation can be quiet and focusing
  • Creativity and innovation are different things
  • Innovation is relevant to non-consumer companies
  • Innovation doesn’t “just happen”
  • The business value of innovation is simple to measure
  • Innovation doesn’t require deep pockets, risk-embrace or bleeding edge technology
  • Innovation isn’t random
  • You don’t need to be a genius to innovate
  • You can become an innovator
  • Innovation happens outside of the R&D lab
  • Technology doesn’t mean you’ll win
  • Innovation isn’t about improved performance
  • Your customer isn’t a critical source
  • You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to do game changing innovation
  • You can win by targeting small markets
  • You don’t need to make big bets to innovate
  • Innovation comes from regular people collaborating
  • Innovation isn’t about a eureka moment
  • Great innovations aren’t easily recognized
  • We shouldn’t glorify eureka moments
  • Legendary stories aren’t necessarily true
  • We don’t tell myths about normal people and slowly evolving events
  • You can ask customers what they need
  • Slower, worse, more expensive
  • Bringing disruptive innovations can be easy
  • Successful innovation doesn’t require disruptive revolution
  • You don’t have to be creative (egotistical) to be innovative
  • Innovation isn’t expensive
  • All industries are innovative
  • Speed isn’t the key to success
  • It isn’t all about creativity
  • Innovation isn’t about motivation
  • Innovation isn’t about the user
  • Innovation isn’t about products and services
  • Innovation is bad
  • If you invest in something new you don’t increase your chances of windfall returns
  • Individual innovative leadership can’t account for success
  • The level of industry competition has nothing to do with the amount of innovation
  • You can’t copy market leaders and retain competitive advantage
  • It’s not what we do behind closed doors
  • It doesn’t “just happen”
  • You don’t need to reward innovation
  • It isn’t about working harder
  • Real innovation isn’t about adjacent possible
  • You don’t need the best people
  • It’s not about selecting the best ideas
  • Innovation doesn’t equal creativity + ideas
  • Innovation isn’t creating something new
  • Innovation isn’t making a great product
  • Fundraising doesn’t validate innovation
  • Technical innovation doesn’t mean scalable and automated