radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

First Principles And The Power of Analogs.

Jul 16, 2021

For the last couple of months we have been deep in the rabbit hole of better understanding the first principles of disruptive innovation and the practices which lead to, as well as, allow you to tame disruption in the context of a company.

So far, we published sixteen of our interviews with leading practitioner and thinkers on our Disrupt Disruption podcast, with another five episodes already recorded and many more scheduled. And as you might imagine — as diverse as our guests are, there are common themes and insights emerging.

One, from an interview we are going to publish in the next few weeks, applies equally to incumbents as well as startups, and provides a blueprint for new product development:

Start your journey from first principles, the very foundation of what you know to be true about your customer and her desires as well as challenges. In parallel, look at what is happening in other industries or verticals, and identify those trends which you can apply to your industry.

Our friend Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Innovation Officer at BREIN, calls this ”parallel worlds” (he uses this process differently though — you can learn about his ingenious approach in our interview with him).

When you are next hunting for a product or service idea — do start with identifying the true needs and wants of your customer, establish the first basis from which a thing is known (to quote Aristotle), and look into parallel worlds for possible solutions. As the adage about “not needing to reinvent the wheel” is true here as well.