James and I recently had the pleasure of hearing Eric Ries speak on innovation and product development, through an excellent event called Thoughtworks Live here in Melbourne.
Eric Ries has written a great book called The Lean Startup, which was an important book on our list of 33 texts you should read to get your Luna MBA. His presentation last week did a great job of pointing out how the book is as applicable to innovation within big companies and organisations, as it is the garage-based ‘startups’ – the more popular sense of the term.
One of the most enjoyable moments was Eric’s reflection that he never set out to add a word to the global lexicon of buzzwords around startups, and how the term ‘pivot’ had become painfully over-used over the last 2 years. It is still a key concept in the book, but to some extent obsession with it has distracted from the many other great ideas. Pivoting is all about the moment you have learned your startup idea really sucks, and (in James’ words) ‘you need to take your investor’s cash and try something completely different, quickly and without them panicking and taking all their money back’.
When there’s a New Yorker cartoon based on your new buzzword, you know you’ve made it.