I was with a good friend and great entrepreneur this weekend who has recently become a venture investor. He is exceptionally talented and I have a great deal of respect for him. He said something that made me think about startups and the innovation process. I was walking him through the details of our innovation methodology and he said, "that's heavy."
What he meant was that our process might be too detailed for a nimble startup financed with seed capital. But let's look at what any startup will confront, regardless of the model used to innovate.
Of course, every startup has to ship a product or service that meets customer needs. That's a given no matter what the market. But a startup also exists within a value chain of suppliers, distributors, competitors, OEMs, etc. What this means is that the product or service not only has to meet the needs of the customer (the job executor) but also of the other players in the market who either help create the product or help distribute it. And each one of these players has needs that need to be met as well (i.e. they have jobs to get done).
If every job has 50-150 outcomes, and every job executor has multiple jobs to get done, and every value chain has multiple players, the number of outcomes that need to be known and quantified upfront is certainly "heavy".
A startup doesn't get to avoid these metrics simply because the cost of development has decreased. It can choose a "fail fast" strategy with lower levels of funding to try to satisfy needs. But this doesn't mean the needs are less "heavy", it just means that the startup is lighter.