August 19, 2020


Humans love mash-ups.   Collisions of disparate ideas to form a new, even more interesting idea.    Given the chance, we mash-up all the time – most obviously to make each other laugh.

Surprisingly often, a mash-up leads to a breakthrough, and even more often, these breakthrough mash-ups come from an outsider asking a ‘stupid question’ – “Why can’t I see the picture now Daddy?”, “Why can’t I cast iron the way I used to cast brass?“.

If you’re running a business, you want mash-ups to occur, but not at the expense of delivering on your promises.   So how can you achieve a balance?

  • Keep your Promise of Value tight.
  • Keep your Customer Experience Score loose.
  • Recruit from as diverse a pool of experience, mindset, interests and backgrounds as you can.
  • Admit only those who buy into the Promise.
  • Leave room for randomness.
  • Create a process for capturing, testing, building and rewarding mash-ups that help you fulfil your Promise better.
  • If someone comes up with a great mash-up that doesn’t fit your Promise, help them to turn it into a new business.

Sparked by ‘Rebel Ideas’ by Matthew Syed, recommended and kindly given to me by Nigel Whittaker.