Innovation Evolution – How To Successfully Navigate Through The Fuzzy Front End (FFE) of Any Breakthrough Invention

Innovation Evolution – How To Successfully Navigate Through The Fuzzy Front End (FFE) of Any Breakthrough Invention

This is where I am coming from: having seen so many successful and unsuccessful innovations, I wanted to find out what makes the difference between the two.

There are so many aspects and components that influence the success of an innovation.

What helps most is a set of charts and maps that show in terms of innovation KPIs where your current product development is.


Here Comes My Set Of Charts

My favorite maps are:

  • Serial Innovators Convergence diagram
  • 4×4 Innovation Matrix
  • Ansoff Matrix
  • Blue Ocean Venn Diagram
  • Explore/Exploit Continuum

For market validation, two different types of customers are required: the “Alpha Collaborator” which later becomes the “Alpha Customer”, as defined by Rich McDonnell, and the „Most Important Customer“, which is an Avatar, as described in the „Value Innovation Works“ book by Dick Lee.

Once you have understood these charts and maps, you are ready to go with your new innovation. That shows you the big picture, wherever you are in your Fuzzy Front End (FFE).

Please note that you need to go through the entire process for each product or service variant that you are looking at.

Please watch my screencast talk here if you want to find out more.



You can download the slides here: 4×4 meets the Serial Innovator 100322

The Link To Natural Evolution

And yes, natural evolution in Biology follows the same principles as the evolutionary innovation process that I have been observing for a very long time and that I have described above.

The “Neo-Darwinism” idea which is “Evolution being the result of Random Mutation, plus natural selection, plus long times” does not work in the area of technical innovation. Technical innovation rather follows the pattern “Adaptive mutation, plus natural selection, plus short times”. Please check out my book review of Perry Marshall`s “Evolution 2.0” book (click here), this model is called “Natural evolution”.


Watch the screencast video above and find out where you are in your Explore/Exploit continuum.


Martin “Navigation” Schweiger

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