Cirque Du Soleil and the problem of Too Much Innovation

First of all, let me say that I love Cirque Du Soleil and I've been to one of their shows in New York City and one of their shows in Las Vegas. I've also rented a few of their DVDs on Netflix and consider them to be one of the most innovative performing artist groups in the world. (They were also mentioned in Blue Ocean Strategy as leading-edge innovators, which is pretty cool.) Which is why I was absolutely stunned - in a negative way - by their performance as part of the pre-game entertainment before the Super Bowl last night.


Quite simply, the performance was a mess. In my opinion, the organizers of the entertainment tried to blend together way too many thematic elements - at the same time as the Cirque Du Soleil performers were on the field, some sexy Latin singer was on a separate stage doing her thing and people completely unaffiliated with Cirque Du Soleil were running around the field, displaying artwork from a local Miami artist. Moreover, the circus performers were "dumbed down" for the mass audience. Most of them were dressed up like rabid college football fans (complete with face paint) and college marching band members and then forced to do the same repetitive acrobatics over and over and over again. On a big screen TV, the field in Miami just looked like an unintelligible and riotous clash of color and sound.

Which brings me to my point: sometimes too much innovation can be a bad thing. I still love and respect Cirque Du Soleil, but I don't think the performance last night was even close to what they could have achieved. While diversity of all kinds is good for the innovation process, there needs to be some way of filtering through all that innovation to find something that works. An "everything but the kitchen sink" strategy may work for some things, but not when it comes to innovation.

[image: Cirque Du Soleil at the Super Bowl]

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less