There's a poll up at FastCompany.com right now. Playing off an innovation article about GE, we are asked which one of four GE "rules" of innovation is most important. To my mind, when I last looked, poll participants (including me—voting more than once, I was so passionate) were getting it precisely right. Here's the latest tally: "Big ideas happen at the fringes" ... 51%. "Bet on the industry, not the technology" ... 22%. "Set intermediate goals" ... 14%. "Make innovation pay its way" ... 11%.
If you want to know more about how I feel about the importance of "fringes," see Chapter 23 ("Think Weird") of my book Re-imagine!; or see Wayne Burkan's Wide-Angle Vision: Beat the Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers and Rogue Employees.