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Communications of the ACM

The profession of IT

How to Produce Innovations

How to Produce Innovations, illustrative photo

Credit: Alicia Kubista

You have an idea for something new that could change your company, maybe even the industry. What do you do with your idea? Promote it through your employer's social network? Put a video about it on YouTube? Propose it on Kickstarter and see if other people are interested? Found a startup? These possibilities have murky futures. Your employer might not be interested, the startup might fail, the video might not go viral, the proposal might not attract followers. And if any of these begins to look viable, it could be several years before you know if your idea is successful. In the face of these uncertainties, it would be easy to give up.

Do not give up so easily. Difficulty getting ideas adopted is a common complaint among professionals. In this column, I discuss why it might not be as difficult as it looks.


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