Bringing new technology to market is hard. “A crap shoot”, according to the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen. With a little training, people can display an amazing amount of inventiveness and come up with new products or services that are downright excellent. But how many of them see the light of commercial day? This is the tough part. Is there any recipe, any rules to seduce the market? Which are the tools required to turn an opportunity into a competitive and sustainable business velcro wall for sale?
The books published generally focus on the innovation process. In Serious Play, Michael Schrage, a research associate at MIT Media Lab and columnist for Fortune, describes the kind of culture that is needed for encouraging innovation and lays out the 10 rules of “creative improvisation in corporations”. He advise entrepreneurs to be willing to fail early and often, to know when the costs outweigh the benefits, to build a prototype that engages customers, vendors, and colleagues and to create markets around prototypes.
In another book published in March 2010, Robert F. Brands, former CEO of Airspray N.V. - manufacturer of the ubiquitous foaming pumps on soaps of all kinds-, offers as well a 10-step program to “create and sustain NEW in Business“. The keywords/phrases are: Inspiration, Risk, New Product Development Process, Ownership, Value Creation, Accountability, Training and Coaching, Idea Management, Observation and Measure, Net Results and Reward.
They are certainly useful…and catchy, but what do they mean in practice? Can Innovation be applied following a 10-step program? HitBarcelona wants to escape theory to offer some practical examples of successful application of innovation to help entrepreneurs to turn ideas into a solid business that can transform society. It will be exciting to discuss on this issue next June.