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Innovation 02: Find a Friend

You just remember what your old pal said[1]

Mon Aug 15 10:35:20 2016


I recently attended an Innovation Clinic as part of UCLAN which crammed an incredible amount of detail into a very short series of lectures and practical workshops. This series of posts is based upon that Clinic.

‘Friends will be friends, Right to the end’[2]

image of friends on a beach

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
(Octavia Butler:

Find a Friend

There are two good reasons for finding a friend when you are creating a new thing, whether it be hardware or software, never before seen or an upgrade to an existing process.

1. The Honest Response

The first reason is fairly obvious you need someone to give you their honest response. It is best in this situation to choose someone whose opinion you trust and who you know will give you an unbiased opinion.

2. How Does it Work?

This is perhaps the most important use of your friend.

So you just created something new, or changed something to make it better. How do you know if it is going to be useful? How do you know if someone will understand how to use it? Pass it to your friend.

If they can use it without your input, if they understand it without an explanation and if they find it useful then you have a winning idea. If anyone of those areas fails then you have work to do. It’s that simple.

Great innovation relies on an honest response and an ease of understanding, so find yourself a friend.

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[1] Randy Newman, Toy Story, You've Got A Friend in Me

[2] Queen: Friends will be Friends, A Kind of Magic (1986)

[3] Image source: