“You cannot possibly think outside the box unless you understand the nature of the box that bounds your current thinking. You must come to know that nature deeply. You must have real insight into it. You must accept it, and embrace it at some level, before it will ever release you.”

 There's a Zen saying, "What you resist persists, and what you allow to be disappears." Thinking outside the box without understanding the box is a petulant exercise in resistance — every idea that comes from the process has the box written all over it. It's a reaction to the box. It's fighting the box. It's a child of the box. Zune was Microsoft trying to think outside the box, which they saw as the lack of a product to compete with the iPod. The doomed MP3 player became a monument to the real box, which was Microsoft's inability to innovate. It was screaming so hard "Look, we're innovative" that it never had a chance of being anything but the antithesis of innovation.

 Extract of article by Dan Palotta in the Harvard Business review