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This is the Secret Behind the 10% of Innovation That Thrives

Any business hoping to create a name for itself would almost certainly need to be innovative. That’s why most companies form teams, create events and projects to encourage innovation. 

For an innovation to be successful, it has to serve a purpose. It has to solve a problem and help a particular group of people live better. 

Although this sounds like an easy task, many innovations can’t accomplish it.

According to a Harvard study, 70-90 percent of the attempts in major firms to encourage internal innovation and intrapreneurship are failing. So, it’s not a surprise that CEOs of big corporations perceive innovation as one of their top five strategic priorities.

Big companies have begun implementing innovative, highly organized, almost industrial programs to promote and manage innovation.

While these efforts make sense, there’s still the issue of ensuring the innovations created to survive and thrive in the market.


Why do innovations fail? 

Mark Payne, Co-Founder, and President of leading innovation consultancy Fahrenheit 212, says that 90% of innovations fail. 

But, before we elaborate on the possible reasons, let’s look at some examples from big international corporations. 

One of the latest innovation crashes was when Samsung released the futuristic and ultra-expensive phone Galaxy Fold that could turn into a tablet. Soon after the initial reviews were out, it became evident that the phone would fall short of the expectations. For one reason (other than the problem with the phone’s display durability), the gadget grew bulky, heavy, and hard to carry when folded. Additional reviewers complained that the folded form of the screen was too tiny to read and unsuitable for inputting anything more than short sentences. So instead of the product solving a user’s difficulty, it created problems for the users. 

Google Glass is another notable all-around failure. The smart glasses were wearable that could function as a hands-free smartphone, letting the users use the internet, camera, maps, calendar by voice commands. The glasses were highly criticized in every aspect, from price to safety. Besides the hype, the product didn’t offer actual value for the target customers. The designers’ assumptions made the product unsuccessful, and the glasses had to be pulled from the market. 

As mentioned above, the reasons for failure are many, and here are some of the most common ones: 

  1. Failure to detect the real needs of the market;
  2. Concentrating on technology instead of paying attention to the users and their behavior; 
  3. Bad decisions due to lack of strategy;
  4. Insufficient amounts of data;
  5. Not enough time to prepare each stage of the innovation process;
  6. Misplaced priorities within the company due to the focus on other products;
  7. Complex procedures in the company and lack of agility;
  8. Resistance towards change and dynamics; 
  9. No budget for R&D etc. 

Many products would have different paths only if their designers had done the market research to validate: their users, the problem they were trying to solve, and the solutions their products would provide.


How to make sure your innovation succeeds?

New ideas contain unpredictably unexpected aspects, and if a few of them go wrong, they may completely derail your goals. Validation lowers the risk, accelerates the implementation of a market-creating service, and reduces expenses. 

Before spending considerable time and money on it, every idea should be verified to prevent developing a product that no one needs. The goal of idea validation is to ensure that your concept is in high demand. In addition, the idea must be able to address a real problem, achieve its goal, or appeal to other motivations.

Here are some tips from our innovation experts to help your efforts based on our five years of experience:

-consider having a dedicated team that will focus solely on R&D;

– make sure u have a timeline and clear goals (but understand that things might change at any point);

– communicate with users that could be potential customers even before thinking about ideas;

– understand how they are solving their problem currently;

– create early porotypes and go back to them to see if the solution fits the users’ needs and lifestyle. 

As an excellent idea validation method, we recommend Design Thinking. Design Thinking is the best methodology for increasing team collaboration, productivity, and efficiency—a notion of human-centered design which places the customer at the center of all creation. 

Design Thinking can help you improve any process in your organization, whether you’re developing a new product or service, launching a new marketing campaign, or reimagining an existing one.


Design Thinking as an approach

Adopting Design Thinking as a mindset assists us in comprehending the individual for whom we are designing. It allows us to solve issues more quickly and, more crucially, do things differently from competitors. It also allows us to do it faster at a time when speed is critical to success. 

Design Thinking creates an open mind, making it easier to learn from our mistakes early in the process, be honest about our ideas, test them, and continuously adapt to the feedback from the users. 

Therefore, Design Thinking can help you in some crucial things, including: 

  • Making sure your idea solves a problem. The absence of understanding consumer demands is the first reason why innovations fail. Nobody will purchase a product or service if it does not provide them genuine value.
  • Validation of your idea. Design Thinking sets hypotheses and tests them with real users, allowing you to discover which ones are more suitable for your particular market. This will also help you determine whether your idea needs changes and modifications. 
  • Co-creating your product with users. Design Thinking is all about involving the users in the product development process. Co-creation provides constant feedback from them, resulting in a user-centered product tailored according to customer needs. 



Even the oddest ideas can often turn out to be fantastic. At the same time, some concepts seem to make great sense yet end up failing. When you have an idea, you want people to like it. But, only a tiny proportion of your ideas are worth your time. Validation is required to determine whether a concept has a probability of succeeding.

Successful innovation isn’t a one-time choice. Instead, you and your team must maintain a mindset to create a culture of innovation and flourish. The triumphs and failures of companies both inside and outside your sector might give helpful information on this challenge. Take efforts to avoid these stumbling blocks and use modern approaches to innovation to keep your company on track for success.



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