Innovation

While everyone agrees that being innovative is one of the biggest needs of today’s time and age, not everyone seems to think about it the same way. In fact, it is solely due to these misconceptions that people have about innovation that so many people actually never step out of their lane and try their hand at being innovative.

Let’s look at some of the top 5 mistakes people make when they think of innovation.

The Innovation Must Occur Within Our Comfort Zone

Being innovative means you will have to do something you haven’t done and most likely nobody else has either. In such situations, how can one expect innovation to occur within one’s comfort zone? This is one common mistake that people make when they confuse innovation with comfort.

Unrealistic Expectation about the Risk Factor

As we just said that innovation means stepping out of your comfort zone. We all know that outside out comfort zone the risk factor of things not going our way is way too high. This is because we have never been on the other side and we have no idea how things are going to go.

When you are being innovative, you are essentially experimenting with ideas hoping for some results. Nobody knows how those results are going to turn out to be. They can be in your favor, and they can be equally against it. Naturally, a little bit of fear is expected, but fearing the  unknown to such an extent where you never even attempt to do something is another major  mistake people make which keeps them from being innovative.

Coming Up with an Innovative Idea Requires a lot of Resources

Another common misconception that people have regarding innovation is that you need to have a lot of resources especially in terms of financial and technical support. While you may need to invest in your innovative idea and that investment would largely depend upon what exactly is your innovative idea, you only need your creativity and passion to come up with an innovative idea.

Innovation is a One Man Show

There are people who might come up with an innovative solution entirely on their own; it does not always have to be that way. You can be innovative in collaboration with other creative minds as well. In fact, several experts actually recommend having a creative network in place for this purpose only.

The reason why this works is because the more people you have on hand, the more variety you will have in terms of perspectives too. Four people looking at one thing will all be looking at it from their unique perspectives. The more the perspectives to learn from, the higher will be the chances of coming up with an innovative idea.

The Innovative Spirit Should be Free

A lot of people actually confuse the innovative spirit being “free” for “purposeless”.

Being free means letting your innovative spirit really explore the areas it wishes to explore and questions the things it comes across. This does not mean that all this exploration and questioning should be without a purpose!

Avoid these 5 mistakes next time you wish to come up with something innovative.

Good luck!
0

Innovation

Anyone with an innovative idea will be able to tell you that innovation alone isn’t enough to guarantee success. Innovation is the start of a business – a lot more is needed to make it work. If you have an innovative idea and want to make sure that you are able to make something out of it, you don’t just need to focus on the core idea, but on many different factors. Here are a few things you need to ensure.

Financial Backing

The first thing you are going to need as an innovator is financing. If your idea is small then go to the bank and see how you can get a business loan. If your idea requires a large investment, go talk to different venture capitalists. There is another big advantage to looking for financing; you get your idea vetted, and that too by professionals. No one will rip apart your idea like the people who you ask to fund it. Even if they say no they will end up telling you why they are saying no. You may be alerted to some fatal flaws in your business plan while you can still fix thm. You will also find out the true viability of your innovation.

Realistic Costing

Costing is hard. Costing isn’t fun. Costing might reveal some things you may not want to know. These are just some of the reasons many innovators try to avoid focusing on costing. They know it is important but they try to put it off as much as they can. You need realistic costing to judge the viability of your innovation. If you have built a better product you need to make sure it is affordable as well.

Many entrepreneurs find out that their product will cost much higher than promised and end up realizing they are in too deep now to change things. Virtual Reality headsets are a great example. 2 years ago the biggest VR company announced that their VR headset will cost around 300 dollars at launch. They recently released it at more than 600 dollars and customers were not happy.

The right people

No matter how great your idea is, it will not be successful unless you have the right people handling it. Your team needs to know what needs to be done and they need to be capable. At the same time you also have to focus on your managerial style. You cannot create stress for your core team and you should not panic in front of them. You need people you can depend on and that only comes with trust. You will need to be an excellent judge of character to be able to determine who is the right person to hire and who isn’t. You also have to make sure you never get into a petty argument or situation with any employee. Too many good companies have failed because the manager’s attitude was not right or because their egos were too big.

0

Innovation

There’s an old adage which goes “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”. There’s a lot of business wisdom which focuses on how innovation drives success. It makes sense too if you think about it. If you are selling the best product, naturally you will get the most customers, right? Reality, sadly, does not conform to such simple statements. There are a lot of factors involved in the success of an innovation. If you really have an innovative idea, you don’t have it all, you have only just begun.

An innovative idea is just the start

There are a lot of people with innovative ideas. You’ll meet many people who are new entrepreneurs who will be very passionate about their idea and will love explaining it to you. They will tell you about how their idea is a game-changer and is sure to succeed. The reality is that the innovation is only good if it is applied in the right place and if it is run the right way.

One of the best examples we have of companies innovating and not realizing it comes from the computing industry. Everyone knows about Microsoft and how successful they were. It is easy to think that Google and Apple are bigger but that is only in other arenas. When it comes to computer software and operating systems Microsoft has no competition. They have more than 90% of the global market and have had it for more than 3 decades now. The interesting part is that Microsoft didn’t get their start by innovating.

Microsoft’s first hit in operating systems was MS-DOS, which they did not create; they bought it from another company. They were also lauded for innovating with Windows 3 and by focusing on a visual user interface. They were also lauded for their mouse support and how much better it was to use the computer with a mouse. They were not the first ones to sell either of them.

You can also look at Apple the same way. The iPhone is considered one of the most innovative products out there. The reality is that LG was selling a phone without a keypad almost a year before the iPhone. Android, the operating system, was already being made by a small company. Apple was just the first company to get the smartphone right. Google later bought Android and used it in the right way to succeed.

Why Innovations Fail

Innovations fail for one very simple reason; they need to be what the business is centered around, but they cannot be all that the business is centered around. You have to think of your innovative idea as the engine and your company as the car. Sure, your engine works great, but you need a lot more to make a car work. You need tires, you need good brakes, you need safety for passengers, you need oil to make the engine work, you need proper maintenance of the engine, and much more.

The same is true for business. You do not just need an innovative idea. You need financing to make the idea run, you need smart marketing to make it popular, you need limited liability to make it safe financially, you need a good way for the customers to interact with your idea, and much more.

0

Innovation

Last two centuries were the centuries of invention – the current seems like the era of innovation. Very few people, however, seem to truly understand the essence of innovation, what it really is, and how it is just as important, if not more, as invention. Many believe that it is just a buzzword that sounds impressive and heavy but actually lacks any real sense or substance. This is a serious misconception that may limit productivity and potential of individuals as well as organizations.

It is true that innovation is more of an abstract concept as compared to invention. This fact, however, is also what makes it all the more important. Innovation and invention are both processes of creating. In case of invention, it is creation of a product or a process. In case of innovation, value is the main product. Therefore, one can also say that innovation is a process of improvement rather than creation. It is indeed as simple as that.

What causes confusion regarding the concept of innovation is the kind of examples used to explain it. Most people will talk about how Apple innovated the smartphones and stories that involved lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, but innovation is not all about technology. Everyone can be an innovator in everything they do. A teacher, for instance, can be an innovator by introducing a teaching method that facilitates easy and quick learning. A chef can be an innovator by introducing a more efficient technique of slicing vegetables. Da Vinci was an innovator not because he created models for machines of the future but also because he pioneered techniques to add dimensions and depth to his artwork. From art to education and from science to everyday life, innovation is incorporating improvement and creating value through that improvement. So, to put it accurately, innovation is the way forward.

This definition holds true in the world of businesses. We have entered an era where inventions are not as frequent as in the past two centuries. The R&D sector is no longer invested in discoveries and inventions, it is more geared towards innovation because at the end of the day, it is the value that generates revenue. The wheel on innovation is moving at a much faster pace than the wheels of invention and businesses that fail to keep pace fail to survive.

To answer the question, innovation is not a buzzword – it is a necessity and the most crucial key to survival, both on an individual and organizational level.

0