Lionhead Studios – Experiments and Innovation

Peter Molyneux is a great visionary that over time I have come to watch what he does and says. A pioneer definately, but to be honest I often found his games rather dull to play. Lionhead Studios – biting off more than you can chew. While I admire him, I can’t see myself actually playing any more of his games unless something changes.

With great interest therefore, I was passed this Shacknews link for an interview where he discusses the limits and benefits to creativity and experimentation in the product design process.

In a presentation I made for Fairfax Digital on the topic of innovation I stated that often it was saying “no” to an employee’s (good) ideas enough that will drive them to become your competitor of tomorrow. I was extremely gratified to see him say

“And if someone has a really bright idea, what do they do? Well a lot of times I’ll tell you, they leave your company and they go somewhere else, because the idea is so smart.”

The remainder of the interview basically talks about formalising the innovation process in the form of getting sponsorship for your experiment. I have been wrestling with this issue myself. I will continue to look with interest at, and wish Mr. Molyneux and Lionhead the best of luck. Hopefully they’ll let us know how they go.

In my own thoughts it is a matter of balancing letting the experiment succeed (or fail) without prematurely terminating it or under-cooking it while also keep it in the bounds of reasonable expectation of return on effort. It’s about knowing if you are at the peak or a trough.