It is nearly 2020 and yet most do not know what the meaning of innovation nor its importance. Simply put innovation is a new idea, process, or anything that challenges the traditional way of thinking.
So how does innovation work exactly? Imagine encountering the same problem over and over each day until you have finally had enough. Albert Einstein said it best we cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used to create them.
It is a must we express creativity while being innovative. Government officials across the country are now realizing entrepreneurship is a vehicle of economic success and prosperity. Now that the common man can become an investor there will be an increase in enterprises that thrive on innovation. In a nutshell, if you are an entrepreneur, be a problem solver and take a new creative approach to business. This is a great way to get noticed and stand out amongst a sea of competitors.
Still, need ideas on how to be more innovative?
A bookstore in China does not sell its novels by the title but by how much it weighs. Unique right?
Women are constantly at risk, especially when they use rideshare apps! HERide was created as an alternative for women that simply want to get to point A and point B while feeling safe in the process.
Are you an extreme germaphobe? Lots of people hate using restrooms at any establishment simply because they hate grabbing door handles, myself included. Recently I was out for dinner and needed to use the restroom. To my surprise, upon leaving the restroom there was a handle at the bottom of the door enabling me to open it with my foot!
Changed my whole life!
Now that’s problem-solving.
Hotels are cool but there is nothing like a personalized right at home feeling. Airbnb, the biggest disruptor of them all, provides a personalized in-home feeling all across the globe.
Get this…Its cheaper than a hotel!
No one cares about your idea until it can solve their problem.
Ask yourself this question….are you solving someone’s problem?
4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Innovation!
1. Innovation Comes From Thinking Outside of The Box
When it comes to new ideas that change the way we think, work, and live, they often come from out of nowhere, seemingly outer space. These are ideas that when first adopted are usually turned down because they sound ridiculous or unfeasible.
Just about everybody’s first reaction to Twitter was, “This looks stupid. Why would anyone care what somebody is doing right now?” Eventually, they’d come around and create an account even though they still didn’t get it. It wasn’t until after a few weeks or months of using it did people “get it.”
The same holds true with Instagram, Youtube, and several other innovative platforms that when introduced left the majority of people scratching their heads. Can you imagine where you would be if you started pushing content on Youtube when it was first introduced and remained consistent until now? I’m pretty sure you’d be rolling in green!
2. Innovations Can Be Derivatives of Other Businesses
Twitter and Quora are not revolutionary innovations, but revolutionary improvements on old models. Twitter is microblogging, which just took blogging and set a 140 character limit on your posts. Quora is like a forum, but more focused and directed.
To create a new innovative idea, start with taking a current business and finding ways to make it better. What can you eliminate or add that would make using the product or service more pleasurable for the end consumer?
Derivatives are not the strongest innovations that a company could create, but it’s possible to start with a derivative innovation and build it into a revolutionary one.
3. Innovation is Driven by Destruction
As an entrepreneur, to keep growing you should always be looking to outdo yourself. The same concept applies to business. Businesses that remain on the cutting edge of innovation are constantly trying to put themselves out of business by introducing their own disruptive products to their existing business model.
If you arent always trying to outdo yourself, you can be assured that your competitors are doing it for you. And when they succeed, it will hurt!
For example, let’s look at Blockbuster. Ahh yes, the infamous Blockbuster, a staple of most of our childhoods. Do you know what happened to good old Blockbuster?
They got caught with their eyes closed and their guards down by Netflix.
Netflix hit the market with DVD’s that you could rent through the mail instead of having to go in-person to a store just to find out that what you wanted to see has already been checked out. This alone caused stress for Blockbuster, but it wasn’t the nail in the coffin.
The nail in the coffin came when Netflix, disrupted its own business model by innovating and coming up with “Streaming Rentals”. By the time Blockbuster opened its eyes, it was too late.
As of 2019, there are only 2 Blockbusters open vs 9000 in 2004.
When you fail to innovate, you lose.
To stay innovative, always look for ways to destroy your current business.
4. Innovation Doesn’t Care What The Customer Thinks
Getting customer feedback is an important part of the traditional ideation process, however, when it comes to new innovative ideas, customer feedback can and usually does prove to be an immense roadblock. They’ll ask for better, faster and cheaper, which is nothing more than the same old thing, except with a 10 or 15 percent improvement.
That’s not innovation. That’s not even a derivative of an old idea.
Think about this for a second. When Henry Ford produced the first automobile, people were outraged and thought it to be unnecessary and overpriced when horse and carriage worked just fine.
They literally wanted to keep the horses and disregard the “car”.
When it comes to your business and your ideas…push the envelope and reach for the stars. Be different.
Homework: What are some other examples of innovative and disruptive businesses? Comment below!