Products & Innovation
Companies often treat new-product development as a monolithic process, but it can be more divided into two distinct stages: a truth-seeking early stage, focused on evaluating novel products’ prospects and eliminating bad bets, and a success-seeking late stage, focused on maximising the value of products that have been cleared for development.
Yet, many companies approach product development as if it were manufacturing, trying to control costs and improve quality by applying zero-defect, efficiency-focused techniques. While this tactic can boost the performance of factories, it generally backfires with product development. The process of designing products is profoundly different from the process of making them, and the failure of executives to appreciate the differences leads to several fallacies that actually hurt product-development efforts.
We live in a world where ideas and solutions are abundant due to the collaboration that internet has made possible and the open innovation it has spurred. The main challenge facing companies today is how to take advantage of this wealth of opportunities. Being first to launch a new technology is less important than being first to envision its greatest untapped market potential. Most companies focus on employing new technologies to better serve customers’ existing needs. Those that have technology epiphanies strive to create products and services that will provide customers with a completely new reason to buy a product.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
“You’re innovative, agile, faster and affordable.”
COO of a Global Insurance Company