Building something from scratch used to be necessary. When mass production and interchangeable parts took root and the industrial age was spawned, we integrated hardware. This was an effective way to get to the goal instead of fretting about each nut, bolt and circuit.
We moved this thinking to the white collar office space and lined up paper and information to flow with efficiency. Working in large teams with interchangeable data and information systems rewarded us with speedy production and greater levels of management and control.
The great thing about the collective work in the new economy is that fundamental technologies do not have to be built. They merely need to be assembled. The innovator’s job is less focused on tool making and can instead be channeled to creativity, strategy and getting things done.
Integration And Innovation
If you are seeking to bring a new product or service to market, here are some important strategies so you do not have to reinvent the proverbial wheel:
- Make good deals. You are wanting to bring other people’s technologies to contribute to an end goal of your design. Be sure that the licensing, software, pricing and overall deal are not risk to what you build later. If HP has to worry about whether its print engines are going to be available for production in a year, it’s a risk.
- Ensure continuity. Your enabling technologies should be viable ongoing without surprise. The safe bet is to pick the winner in the category. Whether it is a chip maker, motor manufacturer or software developer, make sure there are contingencies and a plan for continuity to serve your system and customers.
- Accommodate customization. If you can choose technologies which are open as a platform, it allows for customizations later. This can be an API or editing procedure. Getting a system to work for your goal may mean tweaking a small part. Be sure the small part is easy to access and works robustly.
- Reinforce your brand. Your brand is what the customer experiences. Your enabling technologies should promote your brand, nothing less. Licensing, white labels and business agreements can all reinforce your brand.
Nothing will last as designed. Things change quickly and if you design your systems with change in mind, you can remain agile as new demands arise.
When I work with entrepreneurs or organizations on building systems, these are important strategies which create a robust market offering. I hope they help you as well in building something great we can all benefit from.
What do you think?