Two standard deviations ahead of the curve is where disruptive innovation starts

A friend of mine (Hi, Ashok) started a business a while ago. At the time, I was wondering, “Who needs X?” Now, as it turns out and the world we live in, I keep thinking, “Dude, you HAVE to win here…I want your product. I want every company that needs your product to buy from you.”

When he got started, it was non obvious that there was a need for X. However, a paradigm shift happened and suddenly, every hot company in Y category is begging for X. In fact, I’d argue fortunes have already been made by technology that’s inferior to what my friend is building. But of course, I haven’t seen it, used it or anything else and I’m guessing. Plus, it’s a friend of mine so my POV is inherently biased.

Back then, I was a newbie entrepreneur, working full time for myself in my first long term, successful venture as a consultant. Despite selling a few businesses before, as those were part time, this was a lot bigger, a lot more influential and a lot more effort overall. There was no day job and I got to witness a lot of very, very interesting companies.

Lala before they sold to Apple (Hi Geoff, and thanks, for both the help at Yahoo and after). Power Reviews (Andy did an awesome job with the remote Powerpoint and I was stunned at the implications of the service). Photobucket, Sidestep, Dotspotter, Maya’s Mom, Kaboodle…I got to see a lot of very interesting companies, close up. Work with the teams, learn how they operated, how they thought about business, hear from some amazing people in technology, product and marketing.

Personally, I’ve always felt that a sustaining innovation is one that enables a small, standard size amount of growth. A disruptive one transforms the way value is created in a category. Mint.com for Finance, POF for online dating, Wave / Outright for accounting, etc. They both delivered on improved product and changed the way value for the company is created, in each case, successfully. Time will tell for Wave but the others achieved exits or sustainable business models.

Then there is the, “Moonshot,” concept from Google – self driving cars, terraforming Mars, automated drone delivery in response to a Google Glass view of an ad served in a heads up display.

Having seen the world over a few times, met presidents and billionaires…it’s hard to think small. When you have family that suffers from incurable, terminal disease, it’s also hard to hold back, to think that tomorrow, I have more time. It’s today that counts, it’s breakthroughs that matter. A base hit is okay for some, but for me, I’m more interested in how people can hit a home run, or better yet, knock the ball so hard it hits the moon.

I can’t talk about work yet because we’ve still got our shields up. The Klingons might get wind of our approach, so the cloaking device is intact and fully powered. 😉

However, what I can talk about is crap. Literal, figurative crap. There was a book I read to my younger son called, “Everybody Poops,” that I think every adult should read, if they haven’t already. It reminds us we’re all human, that we all, in fact, defecate. If not, we should because otherwise, things will get ugly and there will be bigger health issues. Sure, what went into said load might have been a fantastic meal, or a cheap fast food burger, but it all comes out one way in the end.

Are there opportunities in poop? Perhaps. Or it could be I’m just talking sh!t 😉

Happy Wednesday.