Innovation Myths and the Unsexy Truths About Breakthroughs

By Mark Milian - 2014-04-01T16:15:07Z

Photograph by Justin Lewis/Getty Images

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Go With Your Gut

The kind of innovation that comes from taking a big leap based on instinct is rare, says Martin Roesch, who founded Sourcefire, a provider of intrusion-detection technology to Fortune 100 companies and government agencies. Most breakthroughs happen when a person is steeped in a particular topic, he says.

"Thinking long and hard about solutions to a problem that nobody has ever solved results in as much innovation as a singular leap of genius that happens in a moment," says Roesch, whose company was acquired by Cisco Systems in a $2.7 billion deal.

He also says that having a diverse background will give you "those moments of clarity when you can see the new thing from the collection of parts."

(Corrects price of Sourcefire deal in 2nd paragraph.)

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