The boxer Mike Tyson once famously said:

Everybody has a plan before they get punched in the mouth!

While the original quote from 1987 was actually “Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time.”, the sentiment also applies to innovation projects.

Companies often create elaborate plans for what their projects are supposed to achieve once they are released.

They might even plan growth projections based on scenarios of customer update and viral growth.

It all looks so well structured in the pitch decks and excel models.

And then…

The market hits back.

plan vs reality

plan vs reality

In innovation, there is no way of knowing exactly how the market will react to your product once they finally see it.

In fact, I can guarantee that the reaction will not be exactly how you planned it.

After all, most innovation projects fail.

Even more importantly, the time and effort in the innovation project before the market ever sees the results will also not run as planned.

So it is even more important to move away from detailed waterfall project plans, and towards a way of working where you are constantly validating your assumptions through experiments.

This more agile way of working will allow you to adjust faster and cheaper, and help you overcome the hurdles which inevitably come your way.

After all, it is better to feel a lot of small taps on the chin, rather than feel the full force of a Mike Tyson-sized knockout punch if you wait until you launch to the market.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.