I’m always a bit skeptical when I read about any definitive list, whether it’s six things to improve my complexion or seven myths of innovation. So I enter with some trepidation a list for your perusal, a checklist of sorts to help you ascertain whether or not your idea can become a a successful innovation.
Note that the list below isn’t necessarily exclusive, and if you have factors or considerations you’d like to add I’d be glad to hear them (please enter them in the comments below, and please, no offers of Nigeria bank transfers or knock-off Nikes). Also note that even if your idea meets or exceeds your wildest expectations when you compare it to this list, you’ve accomplished about 1% of the work. After all, Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. So start what is often the more difficult part of innovation, the execution.
Here’s my checklist to determine if your idea has innovation merit:
- Does it solve a problem that is relevant and important to a customer?
- Does it cut costs, remove a significant barrier or create a significantly different capability?
- Will the idea be easy to adopt for the target customer, with low switching costs?
- Is the offer and benefit easy to understand, and easy to communicate?
- Is your idea protectable or defensible? Is there any intellectual property?
- Do you have concepts beyond product innovation? Can you extend your idea to service innovation, business model innovation or customer experience?
- Can you offer your idea at a price point where you make money?
- Can you scale your concept quickly?
For any idea, in any industry or market, if an idea can pass all of these questions, it has a strong chance of success, but only if you can take the next steps to develop the idea, test it in the marketplace and then launch it.
What about you, dear readers? What other criteria would you add that isn’t on my list?
Jeffrey Phillips is a senior leader at OVO Innovation. OVO works with large distributed organizations to build innovation teams, processes and capabilities. Jeffrey is the author of “Make us more Innovative”, and innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com.