2 min read

How to Deconstruct Your Way to an Innovative Breakthrough

“Deconstruction creates knowledge. Recombination creates value.” - James Clear
How to Deconstruct Your Way to an Innovative Breakthrough

The words innovation and building are often times conflated.

But they don't always co-exist.  

You can think of innovative pursuit as a hammer.

There's the face and then there's the claw.

Without the wedge, you can't take out the old rusty nail.

And without the hammer, you can't put the new shiny one in its place.

Although instinct advises us to knock away at something new, it's best to first look at what already exists.

Not to copy or try to make it better but to deconstruct it into smaller pieces.

But before you throw on your demolition gear, take a look at the product as a whole and ask yourself:

  • What is this at its core?
  • What purpose does it serve?
  • Why would someone or some team be moved to build it?
  • What's aesthetically pleasing about it?
  • What are some of its turn offs?
  • And most importantly, what makes it special?

After you've done this, it's time to grab your hammer and start removing those nails.

"Oh they did this really well, what if we did something similar but instead changed this?"
"This is why it's not working, let's run the opposite direction."

These valuable insights are hidden behind the guise of the whole and without breaking it down to its core components would remain invisible.

This is more times than not the first step towards an innovative breakthrough.

The next step is of course recombining these pieces into something new.

To do this, ask yourself:

  • How may these different segments be connected?
  • What makes sense logically?
  • What wouldn't make sense?
  • What am I trying to build and for who?
  • Why would they want this?
  • How do I make it special?

And just like any good handyman or carpenter would advise, it's best to plan out the project before sticking in that first nail.

This is how we help people deconstruct the ordinary to create the extraordinary.