An Outsider's View Can Drive Innovation

By Gregg Fraley

I’ve been researching an industry (coin operated vending) in preparation for a speech I’m giving.  I make an effort to tailor my keynotes, as much as is practical, in order to deliver more specific value to my audiences.

In doing my research some obvious (to me) opportunity areas for innovation have become apparent.

Strangely, when I bring up these interesting and potentially lucrative market adjacencies most of the folks I talk to in the industry reject these potential opportunities with barely a pause in the conversation.

It’s true that “I don’t know” why these innovation possibilities can’t work. My argument is, for innovation, that can be a real strength. I’m not “in the box” of the people I’m interviewing, I simply don’t know the edges that can’t be stepped over. So I step over them without delay.

There is immense value in an outsider’s perspective in innovation because they don’t have blinders on. Outsiders can make new connections, and will question the dogma within a certain industries’ walled garden. 

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  Photo of champagne vending machine selling Moet & Chandon inside Selfridges from Moet UK published on Twitter 20 Nov 2013

Photo of champagne vending machine selling Moet & Chandon inside Selfridges from Moet UK published on Twitter 20 Nov 2013