Innovation success – tip #3

Challenge yourself to completely alter the landscape.

When you take a look at how things are currently done in your industry, it’s easy to set about improving things in small ways. A reduction in costs here; a few new or better features there. These small improvements are what you see from successive generations of a product or service. But have you ever seen an industry disrupted or reshaped by a 3rd generation product?

To alter the landscape of your industry you need to set yourself a big goal:

  • completely (or radically) reduce waste (however waste is defined for your industry) – this is how Malcolm McLean transformed the transportation industry with the introduction of shipping containers
  • radically simplify the proposition – which is what Eastman Kodak did with their first all-in-one film cameras.
  • mass-produce customised items – which is how Toyota’s manufacturing process works
  • pay the customer to use your product, or give it to them for free – and make your money through advertising or other sources of revenue
  • solve the problem around your product – which is what Nike did with Nike+

Set yourself a big goal, and whilst you may not get all the way there, you’re far more likely to make a major impact.

1 Comment
  • Daniel Szuc

    September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm Reply

    Good read.

    How close is Apple (as an example), with the recent release of iphone 5, ready for making another leap to keep distance from the competition who are gathering speed?

    Are these leaps speeding up?


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