The king is important, but...
Where the king is product focused, the queen is customer focused. She understands the reality of people's lives and the context they operate in.
You have probably heard the saying, “content is king”.
It is – even today – because great content has an evergreen effect. It's valuable throughout time.
So is a great king. We remember great leadership for centuries, and we should approach innovation the same way.
The coronation effect
When innovation is truly great, it stays in our minds – even after it has outplayed its role.
The first Macintosh computer is a good example of it. Or, the katana – the samurai's primary sword.
Innovations like that become iconic (and imitated), and I believe it's fair to talk about a coronation effect, because great innovations get the status of a king.
Controlling the environment
However, this wouldn't happen without understanding the context in which the innovation operates.
This is an often overlooked part of innovation, because it's usually very product focused.
Nothing wrong with that. Like mentioned before, content is king.
But operating around the kind, we find the queen, and she controls the environment of his decisions. Or, the context.