INSIDER OUTSIDER INNOVATION
Inspired by John's entry here about the Guardian's weekend piece on Web 2.0 innovators. Looking at the spectrum of innovators some of them are INSIDERS so close to the technology that they can see opportunities that no one outside the coal face could spot. A fair few are computer programmers who became entrepreneurs and some like Joshua Schachter are OUTSIDERS he built Deli.icio.us because as he put it: 'I built it because I wanted it, not because I thought it was a business or whatever'. Now this leads me to an interesting debate I had with a friend recently. To do innovation you need to be able to harness the impossible to spot insights deep into the 'thing' you are working on but you also need to have the genius of a complete outsider who spots a big whole - a painful need - in a market and do something about it. Now I wonder how many 3M's What if's, GE's HP's are staffed by a magic mix between INSIDERS and OUTSIDERS?