It’s really hard to surprise someone with a fancy new piece of technology. We get exposed to and see so much innovation that we are coming to expect ridiculous functionality. In your industry alone, there are likely much more than enough products to solve your problems, make you more efficient and certainly to make you more money. It exists.
The innovation today is much more about how to put all the pieces together. How does connection happen?
Think about Uber. Do they own cars? Do they have warehouses of vehicles? No, they take the existing surplus of underutilized cars on the road in the world and allow drivers and riders to connect. They make it easy for someone who needs a ride at a certain time to connect with someone who wants to give a ride.
The gap always existed, but Uber put a system together to make that happen. And in this case, the innovation lies with the idea of connecting drivers and riders. They made that idea happen without having to install a fleet of new shiny cars. Cars already existed. There were plenty of cars on the road. And there was inefficiency in the system.
There’s likely business problems around you that need more innovation around the idea of usage than building more products. What if you started looking around and thinking about how to increase the efficiency of what exists already instead of thinking about trying to create one more app, widget or tech piece? That idea could help the world make better use of existing resources.
People already buy things like groceries, electronics and education. Perhaps you can think long and hard on how they get these things in a way that dwarfs their current experience. Maybe there’s an exchange approach or rapid delivery. Domino’s and FedEx were innovative around speed and guarantees and it worked well for them.
If you didn’t invent one more product, what could you do to make what already exists even more valuable?