Measuring Innovation

Measuring Innovation

测量创新

Measuring innovation is a popular topic lately. Many product teams use Product Scorecards to keep their focus on outcomes rather than output. Eric Ries introduced the term “Innovation Accounting” for this purpose as well.

近来,测量创新成了一个流行的话题。许多产品团队用产品记分卡来保持他们关注结果而不是产出。Eric Ries为此目的引入了“Innovation Accounting”。

However, as much as I like and advocate for these techniques of measuring true improvement to your products rather than just adding features, if this is all you look at, over time you run the very real risk of falling into The Innovator’s Dilemma.

然而,正如我喜欢并提倡这些测量技术真正改善你的产品而不仅仅是增加特征,如果这就是你所考虑的,那么随着时间的变化,那么你就会遇到陷入到创新的两难境地的风险。

I am perhaps overly attracted to the concept of building enduring companies. I attribute this to having spent the first ten years of my career as a developer for Hewlett Packard, which back then was a company that prided itself on continuous innovation. But they had a tougher measure of innovation than many companies today. We were taught to measure the percentage of revenue that was coming from products and services introduced in the past few years.

我或许过度地被吸引到构建持久公司的概念中。我把它归于作为一个开发人员在HP花费了我职业生涯中的前十年,那时,公司不断创新并以此为骄傲。但是他们要比今天很多公司有有一个难以捉摸的创新测量。在过去的几年,我们被告知测量来自上市的产品和服务的收益百分比。

My mentor during those years advocated that at least 50% of your revenue should be coming from products introduced in the past 3 years. He argued that even the best products have a natural cycle, and with good continuous improvement on those products you can stretch that cycle out, but still, every product has its day, and eventually competition and shifts in consumer behavior will take its toll, and sales and use will diminish.

我的导师这些年提倡收益至少的50%应该来自于3年里上市的产品。他的理由是最好的产品有一个自然的周期,在这些产品上有良好的持续创新,你就能够把周期延伸出去,每个产品都有那么一天,到最后,竞争者和客户习惯的转移将造成损失,销售和使用都会减少。

Many large companies today use the “grow revenues through acquisition” strategy to building new sources of revenue. Certainly that’s one route, and occasionally the acquisition is one that is truly synergistic and could legitimately be viewed as a form of innovation.

今天许多大的公司用“通过收购增加收益”的战略去构建新的收入来源。当然,这是一种路径,收购偶尔是一种真实的互相促进,能够被看成是一种合理的创新形式。

But when people ask me for my favorite examples of truly strong product organizations, I cite the product teams that have proven their ability to not only improve their existing products, but even more importantly, to repeatedly deliver entirely new major streams of revenue for their companies. Examples include Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Zynga (in the case of the latter two examples, please don’t confuse recent questionable business decisions by the leadership with any fault of the product teams).

但是当人们为我最喜欢的真正强大的产品组织问我的时候,我想起产品团队已经证明了他们的能力,而不仅仅是改善现有的产品,而更重要的是, 不断地为他们的公司提供全新的主要的收益流。例如苹果公司、亚马逊、Netflix和Zynga(至于后两个例子,请不要混淆近来的因为领导层有问题的商业决策和产品团队的失误)。

When I meet a company that is still getting nearly all of its revenue off of products introduced more than 3-5 years ago, I feel a real sense of urgency to help them get serious about innovation.

当我遇到一个公司仍然还是几乎基于3-5年前上市的产品来获得收入的时候,我感觉就有了一种紧迫感去帮助他们严肃对待创新。

If you’re in one of these companies that has gone many years without new sources of revenue, and are harvesting the innovations of the founders, and you’re wondering if it’s possible for your company to learn these skills, one of my favorite examples today is the team at Barnes and Noble.  They are now consistently producing highly rated new products and services, even while competing against two of the best product companies of our age. Their product team is giving their company a fighting chance to avoid the fate of the rest of their industry.

如果你是这些公司之一,已经有许多年没有新的收入来源,基于的是创立者的创新,并且你在琢磨对于你的公司而言学习这些技能是否可能,我今天就举一个我最喜欢的例子,是Barnes and Noble团队的。他们现在正不断生产高级别的产品和服务,即使同我们这个时代最好的两个公司的竞争。他们的产品团队给了他们公司一个经过努力奋斗就能获得成功的机会去避免成为他们这个行业中的失败者的可能。

I hope more teams will track this additional measure of innovation. Interestingly, when I find companies that are very aware of this measure, they are much more open to the possibility of a pivot. Pivots are often the best source of these new major streams of revenue. Yet when you only are looking at innovation within your specific product, pivots are all too often viewed as a distraction rather than an opportunity.

我希望更多的团队沿着这个提到的创新测量的路径前进。有趣的是,我发现许多公司都意识到了创新,他们有更多开放这个pivot的可能性。Pivots通常是这些新的主要收入流的最好来源。然而当你只关注你特定产品的创新的时候,pivots就往往被认为是一种干扰而不是机会了。

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