Innovation, by definition is a product or service that is delivered successfully to the market. It could be something entirely radical or improves upon an existing product. Nevertheless, a lot of things are being developed behind closed doors and often enough, they’ll never see the light of day. The reason being that there just isn’t a market for it at the moment and nobody would be buying.
But even though your product has made its way onto the market. There are still a couple of things that can contribute to its demise.
Not asking for feedback
Make getting feedback one of your top priorities as soon as you can. There’s nothing worse than developing your product only to find everybody hates it. Approach your end users and ask for a chance to interview them, preferably face-to-face. Do this at the earliest stage and you’ll increase your chances of making your product a success.
Avoid the feedback process. And you expect to have a product on your hands, that you spent countless days and months developing. Only for it to be dismissed by your target market.
Deciding not to adapt the product
Once you’ve gotten the feedback and any other insights. Go back to the drawing board and look at what needs to change. You may find your product doesn’t need all of the features you initially designed it for. And can get by with a less feature packed first release.
This also goes for when the product is already on the market. Adapt the offering to match what the market is telling you. If your product is not selling – find out why and adapt!
Let’s consider Nokia here for a moment. Back in 2007, when Apple was going to release the iPhone. Nokia was still one of the big players among mobile manufacturers. Yet it decided to dismiss the iPhone as a threat to its business and the industry. Nokia figured it would just be a passing phase, that only select few would buy into and that it had nothing to worry about.
This is a classic example of big companies being stubborn and dismissing new players entering the fold. Nokia became too comfortable and in turn decided to watch a grand opportunity fly past it to land straight into Apple’s lap.
Simply put, don’t assume your present and past successes to keep you on top of your game. Don’t rule out anything in the market. And be ready to develop things further and for the better.
Waiting too long to release it
Get your product on the market as fast as you can. This is where you’ll get the most valuable form of feedback; observation. This can often lead to new revelations of who is buying the product and how it’s being used.
For example, you may come to discover that you’re selling to completely different set consumers than you had originally planned. Or the product is being used in a completely different way than you had designed it for. And consumers are finding new applications for it, that you hadn’t thought of before.
By waiting too long to release your product. You won’t be able to capitalize on the data you’d receive from the market. Thus allowing you to make adjustments and improvement to your product.
The underlying theme here is to do everything in your power to get feedback on your product from your end users. Staying holed up in your laboratory doesn’t enable you to speak with your target market and find out what they truly desire. All of the relevant information you need to make your innovation a success is already out there for your taking. Which increases the likelihood of getting adoption for your product.