Dig this. Very similar to Jeff Bezos saying that at Amazon they don’t base what they’re going to do by waking up each morning and thinking about what everyone else is going to do. In terms of building innovation and market success, I think you’re better served focusing on people and how their problems / needs are inadequately addressed rather than what competitors are doing per se. It’s a subtle distinction and you can get caught up in the latter when trying to assess the former, but if you’ve really identified a need and worked up a solution to it, it is almost irrelevant whatever else there is on the market. Sure your sample size may not know of what’s out there and you’d get into trouble out of having the same ignorance, but that doesn’t happen if you’ve done your homework.
Other choice cuts: having “a healthy disregard for the impossible” as a leader and needing both engineering genius and commercial pragmatism when building remarkable things:
PARC had a tremendous research organization and they invented many of the tools of modern computing. But they weren’t focused on commercialization. You need both. When I was growing up, I wanted to be an inventor. Then I realized that there’s a lot of sad stories about inventors like Nikola Tesla, amazing people who didn’t have much impact, because they never turned their inventions into businesses.