We all want great ideas, but few understand how great ideas are born. Innovation is not an event, a workshop, a sprint, or a hackathon. It’s a result of mastering ideaflow, a practice that elevates everything else you do. As Marc Randolph put it in his fantastic memoir, That Will Never Work, the origin story of Netflix, “It was not about having good ideas. It was about building this system and this process and this culture for testing lots of bad ideas.”
In Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters, we (Stanford’s Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn, codirectors of the renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka the “d.school”) offer a proven strategy for routinely generating and commercializing breakthrough ideas.
“Is this idea any good?” We get this question hundreds of times a year from students at Stanford. In what has become something of a pilgrimage at the university, aspiring entrepreneurs make their way to LaunchPad Office Hours to see if they have what it takes to build a new company, wondering whether their idea is good enough. But it’s not just start-up founders who wonder about the merits of their ideas. It’s a question that plagues individual contributors, managers, and executives in commercial settings, too.
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