Innovation is such a loaded word.
How do you constantly reinvent yourself? The team around you? How do you think like a start up when you hit 150 people, 300 people, 500..?
I come across two sets of people every day; the ‘No, but’s’ and the ‘Yes, and’s’. It’s the latter that drive change because they disrupt with positivity. My starting point is always to invite these guys in and let them thrive for as long as possible.
Once positive disruption is in place (and it needn’t take many people to create a stir) quickly focus on negating potential risk of that running for too long. Once you have something that you intuitively feel is right, start making it. It doesn’t have to be slick, rough and ready is good, but play with it, test it, let others do the same.
Ask yourself; if you were to put money into this how confident would you be that it will succeed?
I can promise you this; regardless of what your idea is you will be more confident once you start making it. You simply can’t get the insight and feedback loop you need from a deck with some words and pictures in it. It’s not the same.
Once you have something tangible, look at what makes it fit for brief, or purpose (depending whether you’re coming at this as an agency or client). The idea itself will die if it’s not put into practice, and quickly.
At this stage you should involve your audience in your beta, this is where you get the ‘authentic truths’ from and where your product will start to improve quickly. This will also help you identify where scale and profitability will come from, which in turn will shape your ‘go to market’ approach.
If you’ve reached this point, well done! You should feel like you have a desirable product or service and this is where sh*t gets real.
There are many ways to go to market, especially with ‘the internet’ enabling us to reach the masses quickly and effectively. Don’t forget to include the audience you’ve just built in your testing, include them as you plan your approach.
Hacker marketing, or growth marketing should never be underestimated, I recommend this book if you’re ready to start getting something out there and you’re a start up, or try this one if you’re an agency or client with an internal team changing the status quo. Obviously feel free to read both!
It doesn’t stop here, once you’re up and running, never stop innovating or disrupting. If you sit on your laurels, someone else will come along and disrupt you, which doesn’t feel good.
Keep pushing, interrogating, improve your product, or move on to something else.
Whatever you do, don’t sit still.
In the words of Steve Jobs ‘If you don’t cannabalise yourself, someone else will.’ And look what he achieved.
image found on Google – thank you