What is it?
The big idea:
Innovation often fails. This can be due to a total lack of any innovation initiatives or not meeting a sustainable and profitable business model.
It is helpful to understand what pitfall often hinder companies to successfully innovate.
We have summarized ten.
When to use it:
Whenever you are working on a product or market strategy be warry to not step into these pitfalls.
The ten pitfalls:
1. Don’t change a winning team/product.
It is common wisdom not to change or touch what is working well. Yet, when the business is doing well is the best time to work on innovation.
2. Stick to the (technology) curve
Sticking to the (technology) curve is engraved in the DNA of any well running business. It is an indispensable skill to survive. Yet eventually someone else will jump over the curve or change the curve.
3. We use hindsight bias to predict the future (induction).
Based on our hindsight we make induction to predict the future. Yet by definition, looking back to the past moves your attention from the future. Can you imagine driving a car by looking into the back mirror for direction?
4. We hate risk
Diverting from the proven path is risky. Yet sticking to the same path will eventually result in a dead end. Not innovating is the biggest risk.
5. We fail to recognize real important unmet needs or pains.
Companies too often assume that the customer’s problems and needs doesn’t change. As a result, they do not really bother in reviewing the customer’s pains, gains, and use of the current solutions.
6. We start off with a bad idea
There is nothing shameful about starting an innovation project from a bad idea. The danger is to fall in love with your own idea and fail to recognize during the validation process that it indeed is a bad idea. It demands a lot of courage to recognize your original idea was wrong and pivot in the right direction.
7. A bad timing
Sometimes the technology is just not ready yet to provide the required user experience.
8. We look to much at the competition
It is important to be aware of what the competition’s action. Yet if we look at the competition and the competition is looking at us, we all end up making the same products.
9. We confuse differentiation and innovation
Being different is not a value by itself. Innovation is about providing value.
10. Stay at the incumbent’s comfort zone of sustained innovation
When you are on top of the game, you don’t want the game to change. Eventually someone else will come up with game-changing innovation.