“Innovation” is praised as a key requisite of successful projects. We don’t hear so much about “usefulness”.
Are these two things at odds with each other?
Innovation without usefulness is still innovative… but what good is that without usefulness?
Usefulness without innovation is still useful.
Innovation with usefulness either makes something more useful than were it to be otherwise, or it makes it useful but just in a different way.
Producthunt.com is peppered with innovations that lack much usefulness, a byproduct of the praise innovation gets.
What if we praised usefulness to the same degree? What if usefulness (plus a little innovation) was more desirable than innovation (plus a little usefulness)?
If your work exists to create meaningful advantage for those it serves, serving with usefulness is more important than impressing ourselves with innovations in isolation.
Long live “useful”.