We live in an unprecedented time of innovation. It’s easier than ever to bring ideas to the market. You have access to limitless manufacturing at Alibaba and a world of developers at Upwork. Get some capital from Kickstarter and you are on your way.
However, if you are too far ahead of where people are thinking or what people are buying, then you might find a lot of innovation with no sales.
People buy groceries, housing, shoes, cars, cable TV and many other common, mundane and boring items.
If you can take a look at a person’s credit card statement for a month, you would see what they buy. They might treat themselves to luxuries once in a while. But there’s typically not a lot of innovation in the monthly bill.
The same can be said for businesses. They buy utilities, computers, tools, advertising and common items to run and grow their businesses. Your innovative idea may be too far ahead of their thinking or the safety net thinking of their committee of influencers.
So, if you are trying to figure out as an entrepreneur what to sell and what to take to a crowded market, how about thinking about innovation in a different way. Here’s a strategy – take a look at what people buy and innovate on how it is packaged, delivered and experienced.
People bought music in vast quantities before Apple innovated how you could access digital libraries and pay for them conveniently.
Zappos sold a commodity – shoes. Then they were relentless on the way shoes were bought, experienced and even returned. They made the experience the innovation.
There’s so much room for efficiency in project management, taking trips, managing relationships, buying cars, and many other things we buy every day.
Can you take time to think less about innovating on products and more time on how they are packaged, delivered and experienced? You might cut out costs, waste and bottlenecks. You might attract more attention and mass because the market rewards your innovation thinking through what makes life more pleasant.
What do you think?