Why Are Innovation Blog Posts So Boring?

In Posted January 20, 2017

Posts on Innovation Have Become Simple Entertainment. Not Actionable Specifics. Let’s Change It in 2017

Is innovation, broadly speaking as a topic matter, seen through a 21st century journalistic lens hampering real takeaways and insights? We live in a post Lewis DVorkin world, where editors at trendsetting online business publications have become so general (meaning catering to the absolute largest audience) they no longer do any sort of business leader any good.

DVorkin, for those that don’t know, kickstarter the model for incentive-based, entrepreneurial journalism. He doubled Forbes’ online audience in a very short time with the model and now Forbes has 380M unique visits a month…which is causing everyone else in business journalism to repeat the process.

It’s funny because on the opposite side of the spectrum, I think true entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are reading trades now, and not general business magazines. Look at what Jessica Lessin has done with The Information as an example of what specificity can do.

So maybe all of us who write these blog post should try to repair what’s broken. Remember that we should serve the reader. When we build products at Prehype or Bark Box, we try to by solely user-centric. We want to offer solutions that lend to effortless buying. However, when it comes to this secondary journalism layer in the post-DVorkin world, what we are doing is essentially saying “Here are some broad concepts that helped get me to where I am…now you spend the mental energy applying them to your particular field.”

So lets start to write more specifically. I should focus for example, on how to grow/succeed in CPG good for example based on real stories from BarkBox. Stop trying to dress the same point up as something that sounds a little bit new.

There is a brilliant documentary 6 Days to Air on how the South Park creators continually turn around fresh content. One of my favorite takeaways was that Trey and Matt try to iterate a joke as quickly as they can because they feel it loses punch the more you intellectualize it. Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg, a friend of mine who lectures at business schools told me that after I mention a new insight to him, I spent so much time turning it into a blog post, it becomes boring. So I’m trying a new format. I am pitching blog posts to fellow entrepreneurs and recording our short conversation. Then I get people who are quicker/better than I am to write the draft based on those — so I can post quickly. So what you will get here from now on are raw unpolished thoughts and specific suggestions. Let me know how you think it works?

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