Saturday Cup of Joe from Detroit

6 min readMar 27, 2021

Week 255 in Detroit.

This week is all about innovation. Innovation is a buzzword so let’s deal with that. Innovation is also a mindset. The innovation mindset should be open to change and if we’re open to change, we not only create more equitable products and services but as leaders, we become more equitable in our institutions. I worry that using innovation to combat systemic racism or systemic sexism minimizes the experience of communities of color & women. I’ll talk about that risk. I want to know if you think that’s too great a risk and we should not use the language of innovation around human rights for our communities.

Innovation also offers a view, however, that highlights the power and value of inclusion and equity. I hope to inspire a generation of innovators who see equity and equality as fundamental — prerequisites — of any new products or services. Does that provide the positive change we all seek?

This week’s YouTube video:

NASA Photo contest: . Check out these amazing photos and vote on the winners. Super cool.

Northern lights in Northern Michigan. Follow @noahsorensenphoto on IG.

Company “self-orientation” is critical to innovation, product development and marketing. One framework for innovation created by Clayton Christensen identifies “jobs to be done” and then assigns the best positioned solution. In some cases, there are only “jobs” that the customer can solve but for the most part, the greater number or significance of jobs to be done, the greater value the company or product.

Self-orientation requires the company be thinking about whether the company is customer-oriented or company-oriented. Prioritizing the customer and making that clear in how you solve problems is a humble self-orientation. It’s also credibility and trust with consumers at a time when trust has never been more critical.

One way I ask this type of question in product development is — whose problem are we solving? Are we asking the client or customer to solve our problem or are we…




Thinker, curious leader, once an attorney…always trying to answer well. Working on what’s next and next and next.