Innovation is about creating options

I‘m reading Antifragile, a fascinating book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb. The main point of the book is that the most important changes in our world — the most disruptive — are unpredictable. We should not, therefore, stake our futures on any specific outcome, no matter how certain we think the outcome may be. Instead, we should place many small, high-risk/high-reward bets. It’s a strategy that expects the unexpected. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about how Taleb put this strategy into practice in the financial markets in 2002.

In an unpredictable world, it’s important to have options.

In financial markets, options are a common way to place high-risk/high-reward bets and Taleb uses the term optionality to describe the effect of this strategy.

I’m writing this post because I recognize the strategy from the Innovation Lab. Rather than investing all our resources in a few concentrated areas, we actively explore many diverse areas. Our starting point is Privacy, Protection and Performance, but it’s our responsibility to discover new domains in which we can create value for our customers, and for AVG. In an unpredictable world, it’s important to have options.

What do you think about this strategy? How far into the future is your company looking?

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author and not those of AVG or Innovation Labs.

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