Innovation is a key component of sustainable economic growth. Successful businesses develop new ideas to keep up with trends and technologies and stay ahead of their competition. It’s a way of delivering products and services that consumers value. Aside from the obvious innovation of creating a new product, companies can also innovate by improving existing ones.
Innovations can be the simplest of things. For example, the invention of the printing press allowed mass production of written documents. It also changed how we read. Similarly, the invention of the electric light bulb made it possible to light up a room. In general, innovations are best conceived and implemented as a result of a conscious search.
While a new technology might make your life easier, it can’t replace you. You need to provide a product or service that meets your customers’ needs, or you risk losing out on their business. Likewise, an innovative idea might be a waste of time and money if it’s not implemented.
One of the most exciting parts of the process is recognizing and identifying the right opportunities. This could be a simple change in customer or employee behavior, or a more dramatic shift in the company’s business model. Often, it’s a combination of both.
The biggest innovation opportunity might not be in your company at all. Some of the largest operations in history had to reinvent their business models because of the introduction of innovative new products and services.
In the past decade, the number of new entrants in a given industry has increased dramatically. There invention ideas are more than two million startups, many of which are thriving despite the economic downturn. At least one of these, Netflix, is worth over $32 billion. However, most newbies are not going to make it.
The innovation of the century may well be the invention of the Internet. It is widely used and offers instantaneous access to information. Initially based on the expression “information at your fingertips,” the internet owes its invention to an ingenious solution to a problem.
Innovation is the best way for businesses to discover new areas of opportunity. In fact, there are four main areas of innovation within a company, and three additional sources outside of the firm.
The best innovations are simple and effective. They offer new features, such as improved battery life, or enable an old product to perform better. These types of innovations may not be revolutionary, but they can help make your business more profitable and successful.
A successful innovation must not be too grandiose. Although the invention of the iPhone certainly deserves the accolade, it’s not the most significant innovation. On the other hand, a radical innovation, such as a portable streetcar or automatic matchbox filling, is a game changer.
Getting a new product or service out of the market isn’t as easy as it sounds. It usually involves reorganizing your business model or management structure. If you do find that your company has been able to achieve the miracle of innovation, you’ll want to measure its impact on your bottom line.