Innovation is not invention. An invention is generally a product or a process and something you can see. Innovation is different. To innovate, we must ask ‘why’ someone does something rather than asking ‘what’ he or she does. We must design with the intent to influence or persuade, and then deliver an experience that is both meaningful and measurable to the buyer or user. That then becomes the value proposition.
Here are three important principles to consider when trying to design an innovative product, service, or company:
Change is a step-by-step process. You want to start with the commonplace and convince users to take baby steps, not giant leaps. ZocDoc started with something everyone does - calling the doctor for an appointment. The company matches requests with doctors who have open slots, and delivers the results online for easy access. Simplicity is key to change and action.
The environment shapes behavior. The context is as important as the information we deliver. It’s about changing the relationship of someone doing something. Of course the internet has changed our behavior, but other platforms can do the same, especially those that encourage communication and collaboration. Companies such as PatientsLikeMe provide a safe and secure platform for people to share their personal experiences with their treatments, and for other patients to either corroborate their experiences, become more aware of treatment options, and learn from others.
Information is useless without action. Design of your product or company should focus on a new action, not the avoidance of an old habit. A value proposition to change behavior might be “the ability for a patient to communicate and collaborate with anyone, anytime, anywhere, sharing all their own health information.” This contrasts nicely with the existing paradigm, where patients are passive and wait for someone else to guide their health care. This new action gives patients confidence, control and a feel-good behavior they want to repeat.
True innovation requires a simple, personal behavioral change. A strong value proposition influences, persuades and delivers an experience that is meaningful and measurable.
As a startup, there's nothing better than creating a new market; you can provide products and services that address a previously unsolved problem. But there are setbacks to blazing your own trail--namely: Innovation trolls or "rent seekers" who want things to stay just the way they are.
10 years, 4 months ago
Truly innovative small businesses and startups create a bold vision of a future that doesn't exist yet, solving problems that customers don't even know they have. But they don't pull that vision out of thin air -- many inventive companies use a strategy called design thinking.
10 years, 9 months ago
In a way, innovation is like sex: those talking about it most are probably doing it the least. Before founding IdeaFaktory, I’ve had the privilege (and collateral hair loss) of innovating at top Fortune 100 firms, where ‘talk’ was unavoidable.
10 years, 11 months ago