Thursday, 25 March 2010

Innovation - Unsold Truth

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. — Henry Ford

You may have read this a million times, almost every time you have read an Innovation related post. Then you have a whole lot of lobby that speaks about Innovation, everywhere. Then there is a whole big lobby that is there to cut the topic off and it asks you to stop talking about Innovations. Eventually the word innovation is a bit unclear to several of those individuals that work together as an organization. A few facts that are usually lost when we speak about Innovation are:

1. Who for?
2. What Problem it solves?
3. What is the solution?

Who do we Innovate for?

Now the question comes. Who do we innovate for? Ask this question to a group and they will say “Our Customers” reality is the statement Henry Ford made above… Your customers are not really looking for Innovations. They are more interested in finding solutions to the problems they face when working on your product. Now if you can convert your thought of Innovation to something like “I will bring X ways to solve Y problem that my customer faces doing Z without me being a Mr. Fixit”. Innovation is nothing but an Idea that has been put to implementation for a reason that it solves a problem. Innovation is not affordable if done for luxury as the target audience is limited to a very specific group that wants to extract values out of those innovations.

Now thinking in that lines If Innovations don’t come out of real need, then those innovations are hard to get a platform. If Innovations don’t come with passion they go in dust bins. Innovations come through source of Ideas by one or more people who are thrived to take them to reality. Just Ideas don’t make great Innovations… because if that was the case then the world would have been a great place? Yes… God had an Idea to create a beautiful thing called Human being, he failed to implement it. Innovation is about making one’s job easy it results in making several other people’s job easier.

Think of Innovating for yourself, your customers will get a value out of it. A friend of mine working for a electronics company mentioned that a group of engineers in his company innovated something called as a Coffee Drill where a robotic component would visit desks and supply coffee, saving the Teams frequent visits to the Coffee house that wasted a lot of there time and of course the effort of the administration staff that had to keep a track of coffee used. The component was done as a part of training assignment for the new joinees and was developed in a month… Win Win… only later they patented it to be sold to other companies…
Now… think of the problems your want to solve… Innovation is on its way