Innovation: the best ideas come from problems
“The customer doesn’t generate anything. No customer asked for electric light.” , this is what William Edwards Deming, an American engineer and essayist known for studies on improving production, said. True, it was not a customer who asked for electric light, but it was a necessity that led Thomas Edison to invent it, demonstrating an innovation that still remained so.
There are also many problems and therefore ideas that have given rise over the centuries to the birth of an infinite number of inventions: from printing to the car, from the mobile phone to laptops and so on … all inventions that have definitely changed the course of history. And this process is still repeated today, when a problem arises it is there that the inventive spirit gives life to an innovation.
It is true that today, it becomes more difficult to conceive of an innovation, because we live in a world where there are many tools that come to our aid to carry out many activities, both for pleasure and for work; but the continuous technological evolution makes sure that there is always an innovative drive that leads to the concrete realization of a new idea.
Business ideas, a concrete example of innovation
We can define a business idea, that project that arises from a problem, a need, which has the characteristic of being achievable and consistent with the market in which it is intended to be proposed. Other criteria that a business idea must possess are:
- Innovativeness: it must necessarily have something more than what preceded it;
- Feasibility: be easily realized to be implemented;
- Profitability: must produce profits;
- Sustainability: to survive it needs resources that must be continuously guaranteed.
This immediately makes us think of Startups, companies that are born from a business idea usually of high technological value and important innovation. There are many startups that we could count to talk about innovation: Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Google, Airbnb and many others… companies different from each other, but united by the fact of having responded to a problem, generating innovation.
Startup and innovation, when is the idea winning?
When thinking about an idea, it is not easy to immediately understand if it is a great idea that could interest many people or just a niche. Surely, starting from a problem can lead to finding a solution and consequently to disseminate this innovation to a very wide target of users, consumers, customers.
The first thing to do, when you want to give life to a startup is precisely to ask yourself “who needs what”, this to identify the target audience, analyze the relative market, study consumer behavior and understand that yes, that idea can really turn into an innovation and work.
Another fundamental condition is to look ahead, to the future, to try to seize opportunities to turn them into a success and throw yourself headlong into the study of the field in which we want to realize our idea.
Innovation and timing
An innovation is not only such when it “arrives first”, an innovation is also such when it changes, in a positive way, something that already exists. Projects that are already present in the market can always be improved, amplified… On the contrary, if there is a lot of supply on the market, but also a lot of demand, this may mean that so far the offer has not been totally satisfactory and that therefore there is a good margin for innovation to grab a market that is just waiting to solve its problems.