Osborne, Larry. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 1, “Most Innovations Fail: The One Thing Leadership Gurus Will Never Tell You” (Loc. 57)
Osborne opens his book with the principle that “most innovations fail” (Loc. 65). This is the case in all areas of innovation. It is most common to have more failures than successes. This does not mean that all attempts at innovation are doomed. It does mean there is a large element of risk involved. Osborne uses the development of the automobile as an example. The promising industry, when it started, had many companies which failed (Loc. 81).
Why does innovation get good press? Osborne suggests this is largely a result of the strong desire of entrepeneurs to tell success stories, which, in turn, sell very well (Loc. 97). Also, many failures are not very newsworthy. He observes that many small businesses fail and that many more ideas fail before they are made public. We do, however, tend to notice those few which succeed (Loc. 109). Osborne will continue by telling what enables innovators to keep trying.