Innovation at the expense of?


I believe the word “innovation” needs further clarification. We need to show how innovation actively impacts humans and business. Actions create ripple effects AND if we consider “innovation” a novel action (product and/or experience), it creates novel ripples. How do the ripples that are produced impact the human side? How do these same ripples impact the business side? Clarity of innovative impact is important to the thriving of humans and the success of businesses. Unfortunately, I believe we’ve geared ourselves for business success at the expense of human quality of life. We measure success in revenue, not in human improvement.

I believe we’ve allowed “innovation” for way too long to positively impact the business side and negatively impact the human side. Why? We love to trade immediate gratification for future payment. We spend on credit, hope to be able to pay the bill later ourselves or with future generational investment. We actively pass the buck to the future in exchange for money (or a hamburger) today. It’s become normal to sell out our future. 

So how do I propose we stop selling out when it comes to our innovation practices? Well, we cannot go backwards all that much, no time machines yet, but I do believe it starts with asking a simple examination.

This innovation must exist at the cost of _______ for humans. 

This innovation must exist at the cost of _______ for the business.

Here, we must be ruthless, judgement-in-check, and realistic. We are beyond solving user pain points, leave them out of it. Assume the innovation is out there in the wild, being sold and accepted by users, what is the true cost? How do these discovered costs weigh against your personal vision, values, and mission? How do these costs weigh against the business vision, values, and mission?

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