how to think about innovations that are likely to succeed and go mainstream

Antonis Polemitis gave a very striking example about how to think about new innovations. A mental model. Here is how to gauge whether a startup or innovation is likely to succeed in future.

  1. They are good at one thing and bad at all the others: what Chris Dixon calls- they look like a toy, something funny, somewhat cool, buggy but still has some core users who love it.
  2. they are relying on an underlying concept that is growing rapidly : eg the internet or a growing trend.

A good example is google sheets and spreadsheets. Google sheets is way inferior to the capabilities of spreadsheets. but google sheets does one thing better than spreadsheets- ability to share, make simple lists and relies on the internet which is becoming better and better. Spreadsheets on the other hand is very solid, strong and can do very complex things but most of the people don’t do complex mathematical modelling, they just do simple lists with sums, additions and want to share and collaborate with others. this is what makes google sheets adopted and used more than spreadsheets.

sometimes innovation is not about complexity, but simplicity and being good at one simple thing than the others.

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