Creative ideas are the first step to innovation. But to turn a creative idea into innovation, you need to make sure that your idea nails a problem for a customer, meaning that you've found a pain point that customers are willing to pay you to solve. Once
- After we did our research on The Innovator's DNA, we had given people the tools that they needed to come up with good ideas, or what they thought might be good ideas. And then we had a dilemma. We had people coming to us and asking, "Do you think this is a good idea? "Should I invest in this? "Should I try and start a new business?" One student came and said, "I have an idea to prevent SIDS. "I think we could do a sock "instead of something on a finger "that could go on a child "and monitor whether they're breathing." At Intuit, one of the engineers had an idea for a simple software that would do taxes for simple filers.
Is this a good idea or not? And as people came to me and asked, "Is this a good idea", I realized I didn't have a good answer. I didn't know whether or not it was a good idea, because there was so much uncertainty around the idea, I couldn't predict whether or not it would work in the marketplace. So, this lead to another research project with Nathan Furr at INSEAD, where we studied startups and successful innovative companies, like Amazon. We studied startups like Tesla.
And we looked at the steps they used to test and validate whether or not a creative idea was likely to work in the marketplace. And this became what we called The Innovator's Method. So, this is a method or process, actually, a four step process, for, first, conceiving a creative idea, and then going out and testing whether or not it's actually going to solve a problem that a customer's willing to pay for, whether the solution really does nail that problem, and, also, finally, do they have a business model to take that idea to the market, so that the market will accept, embrace it, and adopt it? So, The Innovator's Method is this four step process that will help you to know what to do when you have a good idea, and you're not sure whether it's going to work.
How do you go and make sure that it really nails a problem with a customer, that you have a solution that nails that problem as well, and that customers are willing to pay for, and that you know the right way to take that product or service to the market, so that it will get accepted and adopted?