Honest and transparent self-assessment is the key to creating value for any innovator. However, self-bias often creeps in, preventing the ability to identify genuine opportunities; it's what scientists call the Dunning-Kruger effect. Without the knowledge of a need for correction, improvement is unlikely to follow.

Mark Murphy suggests a simple solution for individuals suffering under the defined bias. In his article "The Dunning-Kruger Effect Shows Why Some People Think They're Great Even When Their Work Is Terrible", Murphy suggests that the answer lies in visualization and feedback mechanism that removes the bias.

Typically, these mechanisms rely on senior leadership to provide feedback, but these hierarchical means isn't the only good feedback loop for innovators. Innovators can use:

  • Hypothesis based testing and validation cycles that provide reliable, data-based feedback to verify theories;

  • Open innovation groups that welcome debate and challenge assumptions or;

  • Innovation collages gather individuals attempting to solve similar problems.

The Dunning-Kruger effect indicates that all innovators possess, on some level, self-bias that can distort performance evaluation and delivery. Checks and balances are welcomed insurance for all innovators against that personal threat.

Let us know

If you have any stories about innovation and validating assumptions, we would love to hear them. Drop us a message on LinkedIn or Twitter.

In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of diversity in the innovation process. I suggested the use of one of four different kinds of networks to achieve innovation goals. In a world of resource, limitations collaboration is critical to reaching company goals. In short, to make the future together through collaboration.

Dorie Clark suggests the main ingredients of collaboration lie in collaboration capital together with the ability to show how your partnership will reach your shared goal. By offering collaboration capital, you provide a form of value useful to your potential collaborator, who should bring similar value in return.

Dorie suggests some forms of collaboration capital.

"Fetcher" Capital

This concept is similar to the hard work a fetcher would play in rugby. By offering to do the leg work, you're able to attract partners who have an elevated status. These partners possess a unique skill that breakthrough when facing specific challenges. Some examples are conducting a complex negotiation or ensuring innovation is legally compliant, etc.

"Expert" Capital

Domain knowledge experts know the targeted industry or particular topic well. Domain knowledge experts offer partners a reduced risk of unfavourable outcomes.

"Funder" Capital

Often external funding is needed to capitalise on the opportunity entirely. One way to increase the chances of collaboration with funders is to prove the probability of the deal. An example of evidence like this might be a signed letter from a potential client who has committed to signing up once the service has been created.

Innovation extracts enormous amounts of mind space. By collaborating with skilful partners with who you have aligned with your goals, you increase the probability of success.

I wrote about the four points a company must have to reach a significant value in a previous post. The list comes from Peter Thiel's book "Zero to One".

Thiel points out that is that the use of Proprietary Technology is critical to a company's success. He suggests that the technology backing the offering must exceed rivals by a factor of ten.

What is a 10X technology?

Genrich Altshuller proposes five levels to classify innovation by its impact, an index of sorts.

Apparent solution

A technology that seems new but doesn't offer any enhancement over current solutions. According to Max McKeown's book "The Innovation Book", 68% of new ideas fit into this category.


An improvement is the optimization of a current solution. While it doesn't improve the solution's result, it does advance the path to the outcome. An estimated 27% of ideas fit into the improvement category.


Inventions offer significantly new offerings but from within the same frame of thinking as the alternatives. These ideas account for 4% of all ideas in use.

New Generation

Technologies that enable disruptive innovation fits within the "new generation" category. These systems define new rules for the entire system of interaction rather than a sub-section. 0.24% of ideas fit into this category.

New System

New systems have the same outputs as old systems but delivery those outputs in an entirely new way. 0.05% of all ideas implemented fit into this category.

Altshuller's pyramid gives a suitable means to classify the technologies driving the business to find a 10X technology. A 10X technologies are "New Generations" or "New System" levels of technologies and, as a result, promote the business offering to levels that convert to significant market share.

Company Information

Our Solutions

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

©2020 by Comotion Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd