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Characteristics of innovative products and services

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: Characteristics of innovative products and services

Innovations come in many sizes and shapes from every industry touching every part of our lives. But some new concepts are more creative than others. As you learn and practice the SIT method, you want to generate ideas that have one or more of these five characteristics: mobility, adaptability, simplicity, specificity, and ideality. Let's look at each one of these. First is mobility. A product is more innovative when it helps us lead a more mobile lifestyle.

Characteristics of innovative products and services

Innovations come in many sizes and shapes from every industry touching every part of our lives. But some new concepts are more creative than others. As you learn and practice the SIT method, you want to generate ideas that have one or more of these five characteristics: mobility, adaptability, simplicity, specificity, and ideality. Let's look at each one of these. First is mobility. A product is more innovative when it helps us lead a more mobile lifestyle.

Smart phones are a great example of this. But mobility is not just about communications. Mobile products do something that makes moving around easier and more effective. For example, mobile products might have a way to sense your location and use that information to provide relevant information to you at that specific moment. Or perhaps the product changes the way it works, depending on where you are, how you got there, and what you do when you arrive. If you generate a new concept that helps people on the go, you probably have a winner on your hands.

Another thing to look for is adaptability. Great products adapt and morph, depending on how they're used. They become smart by changing their characteristics in a way that is most beneficial to the user at that particular moment. For example, in recent years, home builders have begun adding a special type of flooring with sensors that know when someone is in the room. The floor detects how many people are there and even knows who they are. It then changes something in the room, such as the lighting or the music, depending on who those people are.

Next is simplicity. Products and services that are simple tend to be easier to use. They have fewer moving parts, and they're less likely to break down. For example, imagine a bicycle that folds in half so that it's easier to store. A simple idea. Always remember that just adding a lot of bells and whistles to your product can overwhelm the consumer, so keep it simple. You'll attract more with less.

Unique products are those that use parts of the problem to become the solution. It's called specificity. For example, researchers are creating a vehicle-based system called Eye Tracker that monitors a driver's face for signs of drowsiness. It signals an alarm when it detects patterns in the eye and facial movements that indicate a lack of awareness. The problem of drowsiness triggers the solution. As you create new concepts, don't overlook the elements of the problem you were solving.

The solution may be right under your nose. And finally, look for the characteristic known as ideality. Innovative products have this characteristic when the solution to a problem only appears when it's needed. Think of it this way. The product or its main benefit is invisible but then appears when the problem appears. Transition sunglasses have this characteristic. They get darker as the light outside gets brighter. But indoors, the sunglasses look like regular glasses.

Keep in mind that as you develop your innovations, not every new concept will have these characteristics. But as a general rule, you should strive to look for concepts with one or more of these characteristics. Think of these as a set of criteria that can help you evaluate the innovativeness of your product or service. After all, that's the point of innovation, to create and unlock new value for the marketplace.

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2307 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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