A lot has been written on innovation and how one has to keep failing in order to innovate but failure has a cost and you have to be sure that you are doing your trial justice. You can learn almost nothing in life and business without sticking a toe in the water, but often only a toe is not enough for the trial to stand a chance of succeeding. It probably needs to be a foot (these are in short supply) and the challenge of innovating is to make sure you don’t lose a leg in the process or run out of feet!
I have certainly guilty of trying to test an idea but not giving that test sufficient resources to give it a chance. This is particularly true when evaluating a business start-up idea. When one considers that about 90% of new businesses fail in the first 3 years, depending on country and industry, then one has to ask what chance a new business has when it is not the owners sole activity during the all important first few years.
Within a company, within any new line of business, there has to be at least one person who will live or die (economically at least) on the success or failure of that business. It needs one driving force who wakes up in the morning thinking how they can make this succeed. It sounds obvious but in many fast-growing companies or SME’s, it is not just cash that is a scarce resource but even more so management time. An innovation will probably fail anyway, it’s the nature of the beast, but failing to truly commit required resources from the outset will guarantee failure.