Fire Bullets, Not Cannon Balls

Jim Collins new book “Great by Choice” examines companies that out-performed their competitors by a factor of 10.

One thing he found was that great companies approached innovation differently than others.  Instead of firing expensive ‘cannonballs’ and hoping for a big hit, they fired lots of inexpensive ‘bullets’ and didn’t shoot a cannonball until they were absolutely sure they were going to hit something big.

Many of us get this one wrong.  We are so excited about new ideas and are so sure they’re going to be a success that we load the guns and go for it without a lot of market testing.

A bullet:

  • Doesn’t take much company focus
  • Doesn’t involve a lot of effort
  • Is inexpensive
  • Can go wrong and it’s no big deal

Next time you’re loading up the cannons, try a bullet instead.

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