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It’s time to wake up and smell the axle-grease: industrial age organizations are finely-tuned engines of efficiency and productivity—but the price is a smallness of ambition, a paucity of purpose, a terminal deficiency of daring to challenge the status quo.

… On the other hand, it is the appetite to cultivate what the status quo considers thoroughly impractical and hopelessly impossible that is the cornerstone of enduring prosperity.

So here’s my suggestion: this coming year, if it’s possible in the eyes of the status quo, it’s not awesome enough—go back to the drawing board. If your goal is creating an enduring, meaningful advantage, consider a new principle: if your rivals (and some of your peers) don’t think it’s impossible, don’t bother attempting it.


Ouch. A strongly-worded version of the Innovator's Dilemma, Umair takes 'thinking outside the square' to its logical extreme – if you want to differentiate your company or product, then you have to BE different, which will usually means doing something that nobody else is, or wants to …