Taking on the Gig

A Warrior without a King

Four questions a professional must ask before taking on a gig for free…

  • Do they pay other people to do this work?

If not,

  • Will I be learning enough to consider it part of my education?
  • Is it public work with my name on it?
  • Is there a history of people who worked for free and were then taken more seriously afterward?

New Knowledge

Many believe that innovation is all about the discovery and application of new knowledge.

For all the visibility, glamour, and importance of science-based innovation, Peter Drucker, however, believed new knowledge is actually the least reliable and least predictable factor for innovation.

Knowledge-based innovation also has the longest lead-time of any innovation.

Another potential complication to watch out for is the incoming competition, as the introduction of innovation creates excitement and attracts a host of competitors.

Drucker used the example of Apple and personal computer.

Apple first brought the personal computer to the mass market. Later, IBM was able to wrest market leadership from Apple through creative imitation.

Apple subsequently failed to maintain its leadership position and became a niche player because it failed to predict and respond to the competition it would face.

If your organization is an inventor, rather an imitator, be sure to account for the competition that your successful invention might inspire, and plan your response accordingly.


(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀







在我的經驗中, 2和3是最有可能讓你達到你的目的地的路徑。用你的毅力和彈力去避免第一條途徑。而第四條道路則是為了超人或是怨天尤人者而保留的。

Changes in Perception

Strictly from a mathematics perspective, there is no difference between the notions of “the glass is half full” and “the glass is half empty.”

To most people, these two statements represent totally different meanings, as well as their consequences.

Peter Drucker believed if general perception changes from seeing the glass as “half full” to seeing it as “half empty,” there are major innovative opportunities.

Unexpected success or unexpected failure is often an indication of a change in perception and meaning for the consumer.

When a change in perception takes place, the facts do not change. However, their meaning does.

Drucker used the example of the change in American health awareness and in the corresponding values.

Five or six decades ago even minor improvements in the nation’s health were seen as major steps forward. Now dramatic improvements are barely paid attention to.

This change in perception has created a vast market for new health-care magazines, alternative sources of medicine, physical fitness centers, and other “wellness” goods and services.

Drucker taught us to identify or define a major change in perception influencing your industry. Exploit this change to your advantage.


Demographics are defined as changes in population, its size, age structure, composition, employment, educational status, and income.

Of all external sources of innovation, Peter Drucker believed that changes in Demographics are the clearest. They are unambiguous, and they often have the most predictable consequences.

Demographic shifts may be inherently unpredictable, yet they do have long lead times before impact.

Lead times help to make the shifts more predictable.

Changing demographics is both a highly productive and a highly dependable innovative opportunity. Statistics are only the starting point.

For those genuinely willing to go out into the field, to look and to listen, changing demographics is both a highly productive and a highly dependable innovative opportunity.

What are the demographic factors that affect the market for your products or services?

Can you project these factors five to ten years into the future and see what opportunities do they create?

Industry and Market Structure

Peter Drucker described the market and industry structures as a source of innovation opportunity as “brittle.”

He argued that one small scratch and they disintegrate, often quite fast.

Often industry and market structures appear so solid that the people in an industry consider the structure to have the ever-lasting enduring power.

Think about the US Postal Service before the UPS and FedEx.

Think about the newspaper industry before the Internet-based publishing.

Think about the taxi industry before Uber and Lyft showed up.

A change in market or industry structure is a major opportunity for innovation.

Drucker also asserted that, in industry structure, a change will require entrepreneurship from every member of the industry.

It requires that each one ask anew: “What is our business?” And each of the members will have to give a different, but above all a new, answer to that question.

Large, dominant producers and suppliers, after having been successful and unchallenged for many years, tend to be complacent or even arrogant.

At first, they dismiss the newcomer as insignificant and, indeed, amateurish.

But even when the newcomer takes a larger and larger share of their business, they find it hard to mobilize themselves for counteraction.

Never stop asking yourself, “What is our business?”


(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀





但是也許下一件事我們該做的是 一件能持續以久的事情。也許就像一本六十年前寫的一個出名的小說,還是來自1960年的唱片專輯,甚至一百年後的熨斗大廈。 他們都是歷久不衰的例子。



Process Need

The unexpected success, unexpected failure, and incongruity as sources for innovation are opportunity driven.

Peter Drucker discussed the “process need” opportunity as anchored by the old proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Everybody in the organization always recognizes the need for robust processes. Yet it is usually very hard for the process needs to be addressed fully.

However, when the innovation appears, the improved process is immediately accepted as “obvious” and soon becomes “standard.”

Drucker described that the process innovation starts with the job to be done and requires the presence of five basic criteria:

  • a self-contained process
  • a weak or missing link
  • a clear definition of the objectives
  • clearly defined specifications for the solution
  • widespread realization that there ought to be a better way.

To innovate around a process need is to define a process in your organization that has a missing link.

Address the five criteria by articulating the process itself, the objectives of the process, the level of awareness of the existence of a missing link, the missing link, and the designs for a solution.