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Scarcity and Constraints Key to Innovation

Written by Burt on 14 January 2011 No Comment

Harvard Business Review’s “The Conversation” blog has a great article today titled, “The Number One Key to Innovation: Scarcity” by Uri Neren, the CEO of Generate Companies.

By deliberately imposing scarcity of one kind or another on their problem-solving, inventors became demonstrably more creative, and the ideas generated under such conditions enjoyed greater success in the marketplace and society than ideas invented in more “blue sky” modes.

Think about that for a second and it makes a lot of sense. It’s the MacGyver method. You need to drive your truck somewhere but the bad guy has just shot a hole in your radiator so the car is overheating and won’t move. MacGyver throws an egg in the radiator and it boils, sealing the hole and allowing our hero to drive off and save the world. Had the radiator not been shot to bits, would the need for innovation ever have materialized? What can you or your company do intentionally to take advantage of this?

…intentionally imposing scarcities of time, money, options, and other resources, you and other innovators stand to launch inventions that succeed better in the marketplace.

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