CHAPTER 4

INNOVATION’S SEVEN DEADLY SINS

How to avoid the pitfalls standing in the way of success

Over the past few years, I’ve experimented with different ways to talk about the traps that litter the ground in front of the would-be innovator. Finally, during a speech in New Delhi in July 2010, something clicked. The seven deadly sins have very clear parallels in the world of innovation, serving as a useful and memorable way to highlight an innovator’s most common mistakes. Four of these sins—pride, sloth, lust, and greed—can trip up all would-be innovators. Envy, wrath, and gluttony are particularly acute within large companies. Table 4-1 summarizes these sins and how to avoid them.

TABLE 4-1

Innovation’s seven deadly sins

Sin What it is ...

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