Innovation ceases to amaze us, we've experienced too much of it. So much, in fact, that for most of us, for the market you will operate in, innovation has become a common thing. Hearing at lunch from a colleague about how someone has invented something to launch into space, creating a new gadget that will do everything and a little more, created a corporation that can save humanity from another problem - doesn't that happen to you almost every day?
That's why even in the field of innovation, it is important to withstand competition from others in the field you work in.
So, we wrote this article. Creating innovation is not easy, and making it more effective is even more difficult.
Product innovation criteria
An innovation is something fundamentally new to the market, that solves one or more problems in a completely new way.
As an example of innovation, we can look at, say, the very first innovation in human history: the wheel. A relatively simple device that was simple to build, easy to maintain and operate, and capable of changing people's lives at the time by making them more comfortable. Yes, the wheel is an innovation.
A more technologically advanced, and more recent example is face-id, pre-installed on smartphones. It is a relatively simple technology, which, although not without errors, allows to unlock the device faster and more conveniently than previous methods.
Also Uber is a perfect example of innovativeness. It is a product that is different from its predecessors, allows people to perform fewer actions, works more conveniently, and is more accessible.
So, we can define the basic criteria of innovativeness as the steps to success in innovative product development:
- The ability to solve the user's problem; the more problems can be solved by an innovative product, the more chance that product has to succeed.
- The ability to distinguish yourself from your competitors; innovation must do something familiar in an unusual way, or uncommon but terribly needed. Find what your customers need most, and determine what your competitors have never done, or what you can improve. That's the way to innovate.
- Understandability and accessibility; innovation must be easy to understand for people because if it is difficult to use, it will not penetrate the market. Also, the innovation must be accessible (financially, too), because the harder it is to reach a mass audience for your innovation, the longer it will take the market to accept it.
- Trendiness; an innovation may not be at its peak right away, but it must be created with trends in mind or at least with an eye to them. If you can figure out which of today's trends can survive on the market long enough, pay attention to it when developing an innovative product. And if you don't have a clue, enlist the support of an IT partner who can help you do a thorough analysis and figure it all out with ease.
We have a couple of cheat codes for you that will help you develop an innovative product that will not just meet the criteria above but will be effective.
Key 1: Accessibility
This key, in fact, is the third criterion of innovativeness. The accessibility of innovation allows it to penetrate the market and easily become mainstream. The easier it is to accept your innovation, the faster it can shape the market.
For example, innovation from Samsung, which put that company in second place among all the most innovative companies in 2019.
Let's take a look at their wireless charging. It is the affordability and simplicity of this way of charging a phone that has ensured its widespread adoption in the market.
Of course, it is important to consider 2 factors: at the time this innovation entered the market, the entry threshold for any kind of mobile device was already quite high and the market was open to it. Something fundamentally new, which has not been on any market segment before, will take longer and be more difficult to accept.
Or, e.g., voice-to-text conversion. This artificial intelligence algorithm was not available to us until recently, and we wondered how convenient such a solution could be in the long run. Now we cannot imagine a day without voice search, our favorite smart assistant in a smartphone, or even the most trivial voice typing.
This innovation is available because it didn’t need too many resources for implementation. So, it disrupted the market. As soon as this tech had the opportunity to be in every smartphone, it easily gained popularity.
Key 2: Innovation must evoke emotion
This works not only for innovation companies, but also for media, information, and other organizations.
Considering this key in the media context, we can say this: a good innovation here is something you can hate, you can love, but you can't ignore. A kind of good media innovation is the Lord of the Rings saga, which built a whole generation of trends behind it. This saga could be hated, could be loved, and could be copied so often that the characters in the story actually became tropes for any fiction.
A good innovation divides the world into before and after. You can't be indifferent to it, but you can have completely polar emotions.
The same happens with software, which has innovations in it. For example, artificial intelligence. According to Statista, about 34% of Americans believe that the impact of artificial intelligence on humanity will be bad, and only 27% believe in a good outcome.
At the same time, according to Forbes, 63% of companies claim that they need an AI as a tool to cut costs on business processes. So, the only one thing is clear: if your innovation doesn't evoke emotions, you shall not pass.
Key 3: Innovation must evolve
You know that moment when you learn a new skill and it doesn't work out not from the first attempt, not from the tenth?
That's kind of what happens with innovation. The first airplanes were not what mankind needed. Nor were SpaceX's first three launch attempts successful. But did these people give up in their pursuit of better things?
And this "no" is fundamental to your thinking as an innovator. This "no" determines how you approach your future developments and whether they will be successful.
There are very few innovations in the world that worked the first time, every one of them had something unrealistic about it. The first version of Facebook was complicated and awkward, the first Twitter was about news, and do you remember the first smartphones? Small screens that were completely unprotected, fragile, large frames, slow processors, a battery that would drain instantly, and poor optimization.
But nevertheless, if the first iPhone had appeared today, it would not have been easier to take its place in the market.
This is the fundamental "not".
Chances are, the first time you do it, it's not going to be as good or as right as you thought it was going to be. But that's the point of innovation, that's the point of companies that change the market. They keep evolving, the innovations keep getting better, and eventually, with each new version, they get better.
Don't wait for perfect conditions, there won't be any. Your only step is to do something now, today, and see how people accept your innovation. And then evolve, evolve until you are times better than the original product.
So the best solution for innovators is custom software. The possibility of further evolution becomes critical in this context, and without it, a high-quality, effective innovation can fail.
Yes, innovation is a familiar thing for us today. The constant development of the technology world has led to the fact that we are only touched by what gets to the very core of our needs.
This is why the most important thing for any effective innovative product is not just to meet the criteria, but to meet the needs of its core audience.
So it's not about the criteria, and maybe it's not even about our advice. It's about your confidence in your idea, your desire to evolve, to bring something more convenient and more interesting to humanity than anything the world has seen before.
Innovations start from you. And your innovative thinking is the main key to success.