Editorial policy

Selected, iteratively evolving design principles for the Credible Innovation site and platform.

Editorial policy
Our standards are not this august but still matter.  | Photo by Giammarco Boscaro / Unsplash

These principles represent intent, ideals, and priorities. I work hard to meet them. But I will surely fall short. When I do, I will work equally hard to course-correct and to get closer next time.

Be pragmatic


Credible Innovation offers content geared to real-world application by innovation professionals.

For example, that means a focus on application and tools. Of course, there will also be theory—significant amounts of it at times, where it is needed to explain the rationale for more actionable recommendations.

It also means a willingness to accept a range of certainty, not just peer-reviewed, statistically-significant academic precision. That is, after all, the only way to integrate across cutting-edge topics and to offer ways to act in areas that humanity has (or at least that I have) not yet understood sufficiently to seek academic-style certainty.

Necessarily advanced

Credible Innovation is for competent teams who aim even higher.

Achieving top performance isn't easy. Credible Innovation honors those teams' commitment to hard work by offering what I see as necessary, even when it's hard to read or execute. I will not serve up "empty calorie" content that merely leads to more "innovation theater."

In other words, I will also work hard, to make things as easy as possible but no simpler than that. But some of this stuff may feel hard because that's just how it is.

Integrative and brand-agnostic

Credible Innovation is at least as much about integration, iteration, and recombination of great existing ideas as it is about new content.

Conversations about innovation are overloaded with content and highly fragmented. There's exists so much that yet more new content has to justify its existence.

At the same time, what's missing is re-consolidation: Few people work across thinkers and brands, to integrate what is already out there. And yet, that is what practitioners need. For them to use content, it should fit together, across orthodoxies, across publishers, and across topics, to solve real-world craft problems. I will do some of that work, to connect tools into workflows and insights into theories.


Credible Innovation offers content worth reading even in the dawning age of AI.

Even before generative AI, we lived in an “attention economy” where such a torrent of content was published that most of it was going to get ignored by necessity. AI will make that exponentially worse, since content will now take near-zero effort to create.

Practically, this means that content still worth creating—and worth reading—has to be, at minimum:

  • Non-obvious
  • Human-centric (even if that isn't ideal for computers like web crawlers and search engines)
  • Human insight-based and not directly replicable by AI that never worked a day on actual innovation teams
  • True, validated, or graded for certainty (to the degree possible), not just plausible
  • As short as possible, and no shorter

Be who you are


Credible Innovation does not try to cover everything for everybody.

The word “curated” has been overused to the point of meaninglessness. But it applies here as an alternate explanation: By default, this site is curated, not comprehensive. Where helpful, I refer readers to third-party sites that offer more complete references.

But most rules come with exceptions. I attempt to be comprehensive where nobody else has done so yet and practitioners might find more value in complete overviews than exception-based highlights.

Personal, with a sense of place and self

Credible Innovation is only one, specific human voice in a big community.

It represents what I, Steffen, know, stays away from what I don't, and is excited for others who offer their own unique take.

After all, the alternative to "perspective" and "quirkiness" is not "universality" but "bland sameness." We learn about the world by connecting our unique little pieces into rich mosaics, not by focusing on and regurgitating lessons from the same few blockbuster companies and publishers.

For example, case studies on Credible Innovation reflect the industries, functions, and geographies with which I am familiar. That doesn't make them any better than anyone else's, nor do they mean to be true and relevant universally. It just means that these are the ones I can speak to.

Be worth being around

Clean and positive

Credible Innovation actively asserts and enforces positive human interactions, at my sole discretion.

Explicitly, that policy includes interaction with and among readers/ users.

In an age where trolls are often permitted to do their thing, this will be a site for positive interaction. It is a precondition for respectful, useful debate and critique. Anything deemed to be unnecessarily negative will be removed, and sanctions against the involved users may be taken up to and including exclusion from interaction to the degree permissible by law and technological capabilities. By contrast, respectful, constructive debate is encouraged.

Also, this includes keeping discussion free of useless spam. In an age of spam and quasi-spam advertising clogging up content, user interactions that blatantly aim to advertise third-party content, services, or products in a spam-y way may be removed and additional sanctions may be taken against the users involved. By contrast, references to third parties that help users and further discussion are encouraged.

Pro author

Credible Innovation honors and actively supports the ideas of other thinkers and creators.

This has inplications on intellectual property fronts: For example, I cite and refer to original authors of ideas and works wherever known. I only refer to or re-publish others’ work in accordance with fair use and other relevant laws. I quickly correct any inadvertent errors pointed out to me.

It also has implications on the way I talk about others' work: I publicize others' writing wherever I see plausible merit, to support the discourse of ideas that is critical to growing the maturity of our craft. I typically strike a positive tome, prioritizing writings' positive contributions to our craft over any criticism I may see. In general, I reserve any critiques to private forums (where my ogligation to honest advice supercedes that to raising awareness) and to two-way discussion forums (where I don't have a bully pulpit, and where the merit of ideas can win the day).


Credible Innovation references sources–news outlets, academics, and others–whom one can actually believe and understand.

At a time where some people choose to feed themselves warped, partisan propaganda, I cite people and organizations who care about reality, facts, science, accuracy, and the like.

When I have a choice, I will focus on sources that are not just "true" or "believable" but reputable in additional ways too. For example, I cite source that are generally seen as default choices (e.g., Wikipedia, Amazon, LinkedIn), comfortable to innovators' stakeholders (e.g., The Economist, The Wall Street Journal), or mainstream for their context (e.g., Germany's Tagesschau for European news).

More surely to come



Photo “book lot on black wooden shelf” by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash