Business start-up and disruption: adventure innovation?

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Innovation is a risk. And an adventure. Always. However, in Germany, it is often attempted to minimize this risk from the outset. This can not work.

Business start-up and disruption: adventure innovation? innovation

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Risk management instead of innovation

The best example is a book with the beautiful title "Adventure Innovation", in which the adventure is unfortunately comparatively short. Instead of encouraging start-ups to be creative and develop their own ideas, the authors are primarily concerned with one thing: safety from all kinds of adversity.

Risk management Manfred Cassens and Wolfram Meyer call the strategy of trying to exclude the failure of a company from the outset by perfect planning. And although the reader also has many useful tips for financing and marketing an idea, the risk-avoidance strategy is a common thread throughout the book.

For example, in the chapter on the protection of intellectual property by trademark protection, copyrights and confidentiality declarations. In the end, however, the authors have to admit, at most, a false security: for in a legal dispute it is often enough who has the longer financial breath and who is in the right.

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The title contradicts itself

A book that defers its own title: Instead of promoting genuine innovation and making the adventure go, the reader learns how to draw good ideas from a barbed wire, which on the other hand offers only seeming protection, but on the other hand the exchange and the Freedom, which are urgently necessary for the further development of a good idea.

This consistently serves the founding mentality prevailing in Germany: Germany is the land of perfectionists and risk avoiders; that success and innovation depend on such unpredictable factors as chance and luck is too adventurous for many. Consequently, in “Adventure Innovation” a whole chapter is headed with “Success stories are not a coincidence” - a sales fallacy, but a dangerous fallacy that suggests that failure of ideas can be avoided with meticulous planning.

Good numbers, bad numbers

For example, since 2007 corporations such as GmbHs have to publish their annual accounts in the central business register. Since potential founders can estimate how good that Company just standing there and standing by the industry and how profitable ultimately similar ideas are.

Or one obtains industry information from professional associations or chambers of industry and commerce, searches on the internet for figures on economic development and market studies - or commissions them. If the numbers are bad then you leave it alone with the reasons or the investment, at least in this industry. If the numbers are good, good ideas are often simply copied - patent or no. Innovation? Wrong!

The statistics of futurologists

Futurologists, too, have jumped on the bandwagon for a long time and offer all sorts of statistics for good money, which should predict the long-term economic development of the next decades. Based on today's developments, they describe societal change processes and try to analyze how the economy will evolve over the next ten years. In addition, there are also statements on the long-term major trends, so-called megatrends, which will become important in the next 40-50 years.

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That they will certainly be like that, they can not guarantee as much as a fortune teller when looking into the glass ball. What you really need to admire is the ability to capitalize on German security needs.

Statistics, figures, seeming facts, and, in their most absurd form, future research, the foundations of a mere seeming security, which in reality do not exist at all. The story is full of inventions which their contemporaries at first found absurd, but which brought it to world fame. And still more full of seemingly fierce business ideas, which nevertheless failed and have long since fallen into oblivion.

In the end there is always the risk

However, no matter which method is used to scan the market in advance: in the end, establishing a business is always a risk - and often a schnapsidee. No one can take the decision for or against. But one must be convinced, above all, of the idea, in order to inspire others as well.

And even if some founders would love to look at a glass ball that predicts the success or failure of their business idea: no study, no matter how sophisticated, can tell you whether your own business idea is really good enough to prevail on the market. Surveys can be deceiving, discussion partners change their minds, and trends - especially on the internet - are short-lived. Unfortunately you have to try it at the end. And stay flexible to readjust the idea if necessary. This is the adventure business startup.

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