Innovate Now or Close Up Shop in the Next 5 Years
Big companies that fail to innovate face the risk of extinction in the next five years – a stark truth in an era of digital disruption and changing consumer behaviour.
George Deeb, Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures says, “Typically big companies are more conservative than start-ups and won’t do anything that is untested or could risk future profits.”
Innovation isn’t just about brainstorming new ideas. It’s about effective and timely execution that adapts to changing consumer behaviour.
Remember Blockbuster? Yahoo? BBM? Or standing in the rent-a- car line instead of calling an Uber? These companies failed to innovate and pretty soon we had Netflix, Google, WhatsApp, Uber and Airbnb, just to name a few.
These companies listened to what consumers were saying: “I don’t feel like going to the video store,” or “Renting a car at the airport is such a rigmarole, it almost makes me not want to travel,” and brainstormed and executed new ways to solve these everyday problems for consumers.
Launch fast, fail fast, adapt
At least once in a while you will hear someone say they have a revolutionary idea that will switch up the market entirely – but it is a secret. All they need now is the right investors to carry their idea through. They will ask potential investors to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement to ensure their brainchild is kept safe.
The reality is, if your idea is any good, there are likely at least 10 other teams who are working on the same idea. Since the entire world has access to the same data, it is likely that someone has at least thought of the possibility of the idea.
Remember, profit is a theory and cash is a fact. If you hold on to your idea for too long, someone will analyse the same data and launch the idea before you do.
The idea is to launch quickly so that you can fail fast, learn from your mistakes and adapt.
‘Start-up ideas are worthless, execution is everything’
If you are one of those paranoid entrepreneurs mentioned above, the sad news for you is that as soon as you do launch your product publicly, 100 companies will copy your exact idea if it proves to be a success.
And that is to be completely expected and not reminiscent of your world imploding because, “ideas are worthless – execution is everything.”
Big companies like Google, Apple, Uber and Tesla are famous for their innovation and creative ideas, but they weren’t the pioneers. They weren’t the first to come up with the revolutionary idea, but they were the best at developing it and executing it.
On the other hand, if you are the only person with your idea – something is most likely wrong.
Very few start-ups will be “dead in the water” because someone stole their idea before they could launch it. A reason that many start-ups do fail is simply because there is no market for what they build and no way to derive profit from what they propose to do.
How to execute well
An idea only has value when combined with proper implementation, and this includes the right team to perform the implementation.
Albert Einstein once said, “Keep things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” While we can only assume what he meant, it should indicate that the simplest ideas are usually the most effective but we should not lose any of the intended precision at the risk of “under-complicating”.
A good place to start once you have your simple, but not ‘simpler’ idea, is by testing the market, launching quickly, failing fast, finding out what your market wants and moving on to the next innovation. Remember, it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent; it is the one that continues to adapt to change.
There is often a classic business story heard: Business is good, your product is selling, your customers are happy, but instead of innovating and navigating new ground, you keep on doing what you’re doing, because it works, right?
Everything seems great, but in reality you’re stuck. Part of the Digital Disruption is to constantly re- evaluate and improve through the use of feedback loops.
Feedback loops to help innovate
A feedback loop is a process of constant dialogue and response over the effectiveness of your product or service. A feedback loop of a product can be broken up into five feedback channels; team, customer, market, stakeholder and product owner.
Since the marketplace is constantly evolving and changing, it is vital that you are receiving constant dialogue, discussion and unpolished truth on your product. This way you can implement changes in real-time and react swiftly once all information received after it has been properly analysed.
Interested in finding out more why some companies rose to the top while others disappeared into the oblivion?
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Fluidity is a Cape Town based software development company that has built their reputation on their ability to meet the needs of customers with the innovative power of tech.
Fluidity believes that companies who adapt will ultimately survive and thrive, and that innovation and technology is key to those ends. They partner with their clients as they help them innovate and compete with software solutions that create results.