Time Magazine this week featured Google's innovation machine and what Google refers to as "moonshots" or innovation that is 10x greater than anything else in the marketplace.
Another key feature of brave companies or corporate leaders who know the face of bravery are those with a long-term perspective. They understand that enduring companies are built over long periods of time and not quarter to quarter succumbing to investor pressure.
The article had a great quote about Google's view on innovation. Many companies are more focused on how to incrementally improve on their core products to protect it against competition. What ends up happening is a myopic view of innovation that prevents companies from making real breakthroughs. Google's moonshot approach can be summed up in one quote:
"Guys like Larry (Page) don't focus on preserving value; they just work on building new value."That sounds fine when you have tens of billions of dollars to spend on innovation and create many expensive flops but that can't work for all companies. But the mindset is an important one and practically, even Google takes a rational approach - they don't just throw billions of dollars at a given category:
"Page has also concentrated on avoiding flops like Wikipedia knockoff Knol and Google Buzz, a Twitter clone almost nobody wanted to use. He has done this in part by ratcheting down the number of new product introductions and axing existing projects in period 'spring cleanings'. He has in a memorable phrase, declared his intention to put 'more wood behind fewer arrows'."