Scott Anthony’s article “With Innovation, You Don’t Get Points For Difficulty”, from his blog at hbr.org, drives home an important point for anyone thinking about, or starting up a new venture. The very nature of coming up with new ideas can mean you have to take higher risks or a more uncertain approach to get to profitability. It is easy to fall into the trap of making things more complex than they need to be.
As Scott points out, “But the goal isn’t making things any more difficult than they need to be. The goal is to find the quickest, cheapest path to profits.”
And to stay focused and get to the end goal, he has provided a list of 5 questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves to see if their idea has what it takes to be a disruptive innovation.
1. Can you address an important problem that customers have where existing solutions are expensive or inconvenient?
2. Do you have an idea that will solve the problem in a simpler, more convenient, or more affordable way?
3. Can you think of a sensible way to provide that solution to your customer in such a way that you can make a profit and scale up the business?
4. As your team learns more about your market, do they have the ability to course correct if that first idea isn’t quite right? You may find yourself reinventing your business model, do they have what it takes to make the shift?
5. Does your idea and business model lend itself to early profitability? Your success requires getting profits quickly and knowing your model works.
If your aim is for disruptive innovation, then your ideas need to have the seeds for transformation. Taking the time to run your ideas through these filters will improve your chances of disrupting your market and ultimately your success.
You can find Scott’s article here.