Disruptive ideas usually don’t see light of day at large companies. And when they do, it’s not for long.
This is because traditional financial metrics such as NPV, IRR and RoNA are used as measures of success. In addition, the allocation of capital for new ideas hinges on business cases that ask us to forecast indicators such as the target market, the market size, the payback period and aforementioned financial metrics - all factors that can’t be reliably predicted when it comes to disruptive innovation which is inherently uncertain and chaotic.
In the odd case that capital is allocated to a potentially disruptive idea, it’s usually pulled prematurely because the financial metrics or assumptions that made up the crux of our business case were faulty - which is to be expected for almost any truly disruptive idea because if you’re reliably estimating what every variable looks like from day one, you’re either a prophet, have a crystal ball or are just pursuing incremental innovation, the opportunities for which are much more visible and obvious, so too the underlying assumptions.
So what’s the alternative?
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