[L/M NET] Tim Kastelle > “Will Rogers Explains Business Model Innovation”

(L/M NET features Tim's inspiring posts on a regular basis.)

One of the keys to successful business model innovation is to find the hidden assumptions in your industry and then change them. When you are doing this, it is useful to remember this quote from Will Rogers:

It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.

It used to be that everyone knew that to make any money in office equipment, you had to sell it outright and make the profit on consumables. Then Xerox showed that ain’t so – they started selling photocopiers on leases that included consumables and service, and they blew the industry wide open.

Right now, everyone knows that to make any money in automobiles, you sell those outright too. Better Place is making a bet that this ain’t so – that you can sell cars like you do mobile phones, with a low up-front costs and usage charges.

If you are trying to enter an established market, the most dangerous thing you can do is simply recycle the business model that everyone else in the industry is currently using.

You’re much better off innovating the business model. To do this, try to find the hidden assumptions. What does everyone else in the industry assume to be try that ain’t so? Change that, and you’ve got a chance.

Why should you bother with this? I’ll let Will Rogers explain that too:

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

(ralf says: And if you think you are moving fast, being exhausted, desperate, and burnt out but not getting to the point, not meeting targets, not anticipating the consumer, not becoming truly successful, better think about that:
It does not make sense to run – if you are on the wrong train!)

Tim is a lecturer at The University of Queensland Business School. He researches, writes, teaches and consults on topics relating to effective innovation management, with an emphasis on studying innovation networks. He blogs at The Innovation Leadership Network. Twitter: @timkastelle