Saturday, January 23, 2010

Innovations do not come from outer space..

Innovations do not come from outer space - technology often comes - at least from space.

There is a long way for new technology to become an invention, then give birth  to a business idea which has the potential of becoming an innovation - a new practise which eventually is adopted by a critical mass of potential users - and then becomes the much sought after innovation.

My experience is that the innovations more often come - not from outer space - but from the everyday environment of the end-user. The base to jump from is his ready knowing-how-to - and it should be noticed that a good-enough-solution (habit-prison) will often stick - even if better solutions are offered. The best innovation is often re-use of existing familiar tools for new purposes (like bank log-on codes for public sector services) or just taking away enough complexity from a user interface.

Much resources is being spent on research and building base for innovations in the new-technology end. At one point it appeared that high spending was the target - not the result. I feel that there is a need for a rethink:

1. the alternatives offered by new technology is growing exponentially - technology allows anything - but end-users have only so much time and

2. at the same time the marketeers are continuing to push and by diversifying existing offerings pack the attention space even tighter with more-or-less relevant versions

Of course you have to know what new technology will enable - but start the road from everyday high volume practises to meet in the middle. And remember that your customers learn and pick up habit from many directions - you are not alone with him in this world.

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