Monday, June 4, 2012

Opportunity to innovate is everywhere

Innovation is what happens when you start challenging earlier assumptions.  It is more of way of approaching a problem than building on existing solution.  Because it's more of approach, how you look at a problem, questioning hidden assumptions and being open to outlandish idea are key ingredients to innovation.

Because innovation has more to do with breaking down earlier assumptions, opportunity for innovation is everywhere.  Sometimes assumptions that used to be valid are no longer valid because consumers have changed.  Sometimes what used to be technically impossible several years ago can be possible because of Moore's law.  Consumer may not have been educated to realize there is a problem earlier.  Perhaps they are now familiar with new product and how it can solve their problem.

Take a look at this clip from 1950's.  It demonstrates an ingenious way of solving tight parking space problem by introducing 5th wheel.

Why are we not seeing this feature in our cars?  Is that because someone tried and failed to get it adopted by consumers?  Probably yes.  But chances are it might have been attempted earlier when consumers had different taste and parking was not as big of a problem.

Innovation is taking the old ideas and looking at it from fresh perspective to see whether it can be applicable in solving today's problem.  If it cannot solve today's problem, what can we tweak to make it work?

There are many ideas that failed earlier, but on second attempt it was proved to be successful and took off with large adoption.

Opportunity to innovate is everywhere.  Don't be trapped by earlier failure.

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