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A Futurist’s Take on Innovation

Posted in For Entrepreneurs and Companies, Startups

Megan Muir.jpgCONTRIBUTED BY
Megan Muir
megan.muir@dlapiper.com 

Canadian futurist Richard Worzel recently posted a piece entitled 9 Trends in Innovation on his blog, FutureSearch. His “trends” list is made up of approaches he believes will lead to innovation and success. From his list, I’ve pulled some sections that struck me as particularly applicable to a tech startup with the goal of significant long-term growth. Read the entire piece here.

Exclusivity is overrated; fanaticism is more valuable

Worzel acknowledges that “creating fanatics is not easy. It takes years of work, meticulous attention to detail, and outstanding customer service.”  Fanatical customers are not only frequent purchasers of your products, but they can be evangelists out in the business or consumer world for your technology and influence others to give your products a try.

Create ecosystems, not products

“If you look at the best technology names in the world today, they don’t create individual products, they create systems that interact and support each other. . . .”  He cites Google as an example, with its free email, news, data storage, etc., which has resulted in an interconnected, integrated system.

“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want”

If what you are doing is truly new or different, your customers may not know they want it until after they have tried it.

Seek beauty and perfection in what you offer

Quoting Steve Jobs, Worzel says “you want to create something ‘insanely great.’”

Eat your own lunch – and everyone else’s

As your market changes, your product offerings will need to change. More established companies may fear that releasing new products will cut into existing sales.  As Worzel points out, “whether you introduce changes that eat into your existing sales or not, someone else will. So the question then becomes: do you want to cannibalize your sales, or let one of your competitors do it?”