Everyone loves imagining a perfect future of flying cars, trips to the Mars…How do we actually make it happen?
What if the future is already here and we just can’t decide what to do with all the amazing technologies around us? 3D printers were invented in 1980s and only now are (a few) companies putting them to use.
To Kill A Unicorn is a manual to make the leap happen, and fast. To spot good ideas, to grow them efficiently, to make them useful to actual people and profitable to the creator. Maybe if this book had been written in 80s, we’d already have personal 3D factories at home.
Here is 10 things I learned from To Kill A Unicorn:
Solutions are created in cooperation, fostered with optimism, molded with numbers, and chiseled in debates, and polished with a beautiful story.
Most important is knowing what’s most important. The art of innovation is like genius: it’s knowing which problem to solve. Like tipping dominoes, starting with the right one will cascade to everything else.
Innovation is two-mind thinking. It centers the overlap between unmet customer needs and unrealized business capabilities.
Pattern recognition is the most important skill of a strategist. It identifies the real causes of the event, which the strategist then wields to resolve market tension.
Success = existing consumer behavior + existing operational capability + big new ideas.
Solving small problems leads to small solutions. Think big.
Design thinking, or the user-centric approach, is a good approach but often not the most effective one. Innovation is not always about how to accommodate the customer. It should also be about how to fit into the existing ecosystem, where and whatever that is.
A good idea is a marriage of magic and money: the wow and the how. Everything else is either an art project or a waste of time.
Keep asking “what”: what’s the value proposition, the product, the value chain, the competitive advantage, the risk, the reward.
Sure, unicorns are amazing creatures, just like brilliant innovations. The former ought to exist, while the latter actually do.
Here is the book, if you'd like to explore it for yourself :)