Scott Painter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TrueCar, made a great comment at an innovation event put on by The Economist about how all ideas have a ‘fatal flaw’. But like all great insights, on the surface the audience does not always recognize all of its potential impact on their thinking, and the author of the comment does not always recognize its transcendent ability to simplify and drive impact deep into the broader context of business.
The ‘fatal flaw’ comment was made in the context of entrepreneurs and the rose-colored glasses that they tend to wear when it comes to the warts of their idea. But, if you step back and take a wider view, the same thing about ‘fatal flaws’ can be said of all ideas, not just the ideas of entrepreneurs – take the ideas of innovators for example. Entrepreneurs and innovators share much in common, and successful entrepreneurs are often those capable of transforming useful inventions into valuable innovations.
Now, one thing that we all know to be true is that whether we are talking about the ideas of entrepreneurs or the ideas of innovators, people love to poke holes in anyone’s idea. And, when it is time to look for the fatal flaw of an idea, you have to harness this tendency of individuals, because you want to find the fatal flaw of an idea as early as possible.