Innovation is a word that has become too easy to say. We hear it so much that the word has joined buzzword bingo alongside “synergy” and “move the needle”.
It’s crazy to think that something so hard and complicated like “innovation” is casually used and applied to almost everything in business.
The topic of digital transformation dominates many conversations in the boardroom. Every startup is pitching disruption like it’s a pre-wrapped Burrito. So innovation is presented as the elixir for all. However, the numbers tell a different story.
Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor and Innovation Guru, conducted research that found over 30,000 new products are introduced every year. 95% of these products fail.
Life is not much more manageable for startups according to another HBS professor Shikhar Ghosh. 75% of startups that are fortunate enough to be venture-backed with VC money don’t succeed.
When we put down the Kool-aid and take stock, we can see that launching a new product or company is hard and success is a scarce thing. That’s because innovation is something that is ten times better than anything currently on offer.
Innovation can be spotted in the wild when we see a team of people tackling a significant problem in the world. Very often they employ a radical solution, sometimes contrary to accepted norms and uses some form of emerging technology.
With the chances of survival so low, it’s critical that we remember that starting with a problem that customers want to have solved is the first step in making the impossible, possible.
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