According to Booz & Company, company culture is vitally important to fostering an innovative atmosphere. Simply throwing money at R&D will not necessarily return innovative products. The company culture needs to be strategically aligned with the innovation goals, and Booz has pages and pages of data to prove this.
Developing a successful new product or market initiative isn’t just something that the company can just ‘make happen’, it requires the whole company to support the ideas that underpin it. As mentioned before, you can’t make ‘innovation’ a requirement – it’s an output of a bunch of processes (company culture, making sure the business understands why this is important), which if done right, will result in an innovative product.
So this is why ‘fail fast’ is wrong. As a pure R&D activity, it might have some value, but as Booz discovered, this doesn’t translate into innovation. When trying to engage the entire company, it is necessary to explain what the important goals are, and what the company is trying to do.
‘Fail fast’ strikes me as being directionless, and uncontrolled. A far better option would be to take some time to discover what the market needs, inspire the company to address this, and develop something for that. Take the time to do it right, first time. This will allow the company to take full advantage of the first-mover advantage.
As mentioned here:
Time-to-market is less important than being in the market with a product that is used by users. First mover advantage is often misunderstood. You don’t create a first mover advantage by launching a website. It’s the user who creates the first mover advantage by using your site. If s/he doesn’t, no advantage.
‘Fail fast’ advocates would encourage quick releases to test the market. People will give your website or product one chance, one opportunity to serve their needs, and if it can’t do that, then they won’t be back.
What gets launched needs to be plausible. Not necessarily perfect, but a good start. And that takes some planning and a vision.