TEI Talks 7 of 18) Innovation Philip Morgan

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TEI Talks 7 of 18) Innovation Philip Morgan Door Mind Map: TEI Talks 7 of 18) Innovation Philip Morgan

1. What is innovation?

1.1. Everett Rogers is a good source here

1.2. His research

1.2.1. His research: The diffusion of innovation, with diverse research ranging from a new weed spray adopted by Iowa farmers, to safer sex practices adopted by gay men in San Francisco

1.2.2. Innovation: an idea, practice, or object that is *perceived* as new

1.2.3. Not everyone adopts an innovation simultaneously. Innovations diffuse through social systems over time.

1.2.4. Attributes of innovation Primary attributes (these accelerate/slow adoption) Perceived relative advantage Compatibility with values, experiences, and needs (worldview) Complexity Trialability Observability Re-invention Diffusion Mass media for awareness Relationships for persuasion Tension between sameness (effective communication but no new information to share) and difference (more information to share but less effective communication) Decision process How quickly do people adopt? A few important visuals

2. "To be of use"

2.1. Today, we explore a question about innovation that is really a question about WHAT WILL CREATE SUBSCRIBER VALUE.

2.2. The question: how innovative should we try to be in our email list content?

2.3. Context reminder: The Expertise Enema

2.3.1. 5 x 4 x 3 = 60 60 ideas/topics 6 explanations of 10 ideas 60 explanations of 1 idea

2.3.2. 1 year instead of 3 mo 240 ideas 24 explanations of 10 ideas 240 explanations of 1 idea

2.4. You could very quickly get to something new, underexplored, or unexplored

2.4.1. You could then have an opportunity to innovate

2.4.2. Your vector of innovation might be to continue to think out loud to your email list.

2.4.3. (The second TEI challenge is another innovation vector)

2.5. This question is also also a question of WHEN we want to create subscriber value

2.5.1. I mean, why talk about anything that's not relevant NOW, in that direct response months-oriented timeframe?

2.5.2. Imagine what I publish today could create 10 units of subscriber value NOW or 100 units of subscriber value 2 years from now. Which should I choose? Or should I try for a portfolio approach? Is this a false dichotomy? Probably. But it also points to an important question; one that creates significant anxiety for us in TEI.

3. The opportunity that innovation poses

4. Purposeful Loitering

4.1. Cowpaths -> Roads

4.2. Client risk/uncertainty

4.2.1. Ex: Tom & uncertainty about lead generation

4.3. Industry uncertainty

4.3.1. Ex: Guillaume

4.4. Personal uncertainty

4.4.1. Stuff you want to know more about

4.4.2. Ex: I have named at least 2 of my own in this lecture! Buying stage distribution of a list Innovativeness of list members

4.5. Unstructured -> Structured knowledge

4.5.1. Participating in commoditization

4.6. Localization

4.6.1. Importing from other domains

4.7. Speculative pattern recognition

4.7.1. "Is X maybe what connects A, B, and C?"

4.7.2. Woodpeckering away at a large topic with a variety of approaches in support of a singular goal.

4.8. Innovative approach to explaining your topic (Jonathan Stark)

4.9. Nose for dogma/bullshit -> asking why

4.9.1. Jim T.

4.10. POVSpace tensions

4.11. If your cowpathing takes you into any of these dark alleys, you might loiter there for a while!

5. My POV

5.1. You should feel very free to reduce or completely pause subscriber value in pursuit of expertise and innovation

5.1.1. Why? Context of an email list = productive pressure Short feedback loops All the useless signals are corralled in one place (your email platform's dashboard), which helps you ignore them The medium is naturally well-suited to prototype/PoC work much more than others are (long form web articles, books, talks with a big audience) I believe the ROI of seeking innovation is high, but it is not immediate

5.2. I have been unable to pause subscriber value creation for long enough to "damage" my email list

5.3. I hope this gives you permission to go just as far -- or further -- afield in being open to innovation

5.3.1. You're unlikely to believe this until you try it, so please try it when you reach that post-expertise-enema point in the daily publication challenge.

5.4. Time

5.4.1. Remember this from the last TEI Talk?

5.4.2. Your list also probably looks like this

5.4.3. If you are here, what about the parts of your list that are not here? In other words, what if you are writing to 16% of your list rather than ~80%?

5.4.4. Your answer might be a decision about where in this map you want to be. This decision will involve tradeoffs! This makes it a STRATEGY decision

6. Back to our core question...

6.1. Will innovation produce subscriber value?

6.2. This drives much of our anxiety about "innovation content"

6.2.1. Secondarily, uncertainty about the future value of innovative content also creates some anxiety for us.

7. Jim Thornton

7.1. Shared with permission: 7m-long video

7.2. The uncertainty Jim is facing

7.2.1. Will this graph database exploration matter at all?

7.2.2. When and to whom might it matter?

7.2.3. How will it integrate w/his business? Is this innovation the infrastructure behind a service offering where clients don't care about the infrastructure? Is this innovation a part of the message, positioning, or differentiation of a service offering? Is this innovation general "cognitive infrastructure" that Jim uses in strategy and problemsolving but doesn't need to explain to his clients?

8. Prologue

8.1. This was a tough lecture to put together

8.2. I feel so strongly that innovation is the most important thing we can be doing

8.2.1. With equal fervor I believe that, in the right context, absolutely ordinary people can and do innovate

8.2.2. But somehow I need to stop short of *insisting* on it, because it's scary and unclear how exactly we do it And further, I'm not sure just deciding to "do innovation" is possible

8.2.3. It would be like me trying to make someone into a Tom Waits fan. :) Or even trying to explain Tom Waits fandom to someone who might or might not get it. I feel like I can make a reasonable case for many aspects of TEI, but this is just... one from the heart, I suppose.

8.2.4. Insisting that you "do innovation" would set you up for failure.

8.3. TEI is *likely* to led to innovation, but not guaranteed to, and even if it does, I can't explain exactly how it does

8.3.1. So insisting on it would be me insisting on something I don't know exactly how to do in a repeatable way

8.4. And yet, I want to avoid throwing up my hands and giving this kind of recommendation

8.5. That's why I think the most useful thing I can do with this lecture is:

8.5.1. Show you what the struggle looks like

8.5.2. Provide a bit of helpful context about innovation in general

8.5.3. Attempt to give you a sense of permission that doesn't come naturally

8.5.4. Provide some general suggestions about where you might linger to increase the likelihood of innovation Ex: Orchids are notoriously difficult to grow, but you can increase the odds by keeping the environment at the right temp, light level, etc.

9. The reading today is from (Smog), chapter "To Be of Use", the first two verses

9.1. Most of my fantasies are of Making someone else come Most of my fantasies are of To be of use To be of use To be of some hard Simple Undeniable use Oh, like a spindle Or oh, like a candle Oh, like a horse shoe Or oh, like a corkscrew

10. Remember...

10.1. The prevailing assumption about email is that you'll focus on your prospects' urgent problems in order to maximize short-term monetary value.

10.1.1. Or that you'll focus on evergreen how-to info to demonstrate expertise and thereby earn trust

10.1.2. Those two things are in fact "email marketing"

10.2. But what we're doing in TEI is not quite email marketing. It's using publishing to an email list to cultivate expertise and, sometimes, innovation.