Be Innovative, Not Imitative

I have seen far too many companies, in all variety of sizes and industries, hire the wrong people in the wrong roles to build the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, because they assume that in order to grow or compete or be significant that they have to fill the same job descriptions to create the same features built into the same products with the same purposes that deliver the same outcomes as every other company. And when they’ve finished making exactly what everyone else has made, they label it growth and strategy and innovation. 

But it’s not. 

A vast majority of businesses operate through imitation, duplication, timidity, and apprehension. For good reason, there’s seemingly little reward or incentive for them to try something unfamiliar, or precarious, or unproven. They look around at their landscape and out of a fear of failure, they make a foolish gamble rather than take an intelligent risk. They say “If the market is doing it, then we can do it too”. This approach will fail — maybe not immediately, maybe not obviously, but it will fail.

Working within that internal framework makes it exhausting and often impossible to advance actual change, definitive strategy, substantive growth, or genuine innovation. Which is why I don’t believe I can ideally function internally within a company where their motivations are misaligned with their reality. 

That is entirely why faction exists, and why I’m so excited about being Head Of Design here, so that I can help those companies navigate their biases, blindspots, and hazards.

Imitation might be a form of flattery, but it’s also a sure way to fail.