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A CARGO CULT OF
INNOVATION
ThoughtWorks Atlanta — 24 August 2016
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HELLO!
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POST HOC, ERGO 

PROPTER HOC
after this, therefore 

because of this
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INNOVATION
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YOU AREN’T STEVE JOBS,
AND YOUR COMPANY 

ISN’T APPLE.
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INNOVATION IS A 

TERRIBLE GOAL
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UNDERSTAND WHAT IT 

IS YOU REALLY WANT
AND WHY
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WORK TOWARD YOUR 

FIRST PRINCIPLES
data —> insight —> beliefs —> bets
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MAKE BETS AGAINST
BELIEFS; UPDATE BELIEFS
data —> insight —> beliefs —> bets
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THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
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THE LONG, HARD, 

STUPID WAY
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MAKE BETS WITH THE
BEST POSSIBLE ODDS
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LISTEN TO YOUR
DAMN CUSTOMERS
data —> insight —> beliefs —> bets
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EXPERIMENTATION 

STILL NEEDS A PLAN, 

AND A VISION
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MAKE SMALL BETS
DON’T EXPECT SUCCESS
KILL RUTHLESSLY
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REMEMBER THAT
IDEAS ARE CHEAP
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LET YOUR TEAMS 

SOLVE PROBLEMS,
NOT DO TASKS
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EASIER SAID
THAN DONE
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IF YOUR CULTURE DOESN’T
ALLOW FOR SOMETHING
LIKE THIS, GET AWAY FROM
YOUR CULTURE.
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YOU CAN GET HELP, BUT
YOU MUST ULTIMATELY
DO THIS FOR YOURSELF
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STOP LOOKING FOR 

SILVER BULLETS
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THESE ARE LEAD
BULLET PROBLEMS
52
THANKS.
Coleman Collins
ccollins@thoughtworks.com

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