7 February 2016

Daring innovation

Lean start-ups with disruptive business models are hot. Innovations with new value chains that displace existing markets. Inspired by the billion dollar success of Uber, Spotify, AirBnB and others, mostly thin layers between the costly production chain and profitable consumer. Virtually everything seems to become an use-as-a-service. Software is eating the world and the value is in the customer interface.

But there are other motions. E-tailers like who take the delivery into their own hands. Or Google and Microsoft who strengthen their grip on hardware. From hybrid tablets and home automation to autonomous cars. Driven by their view on customer experience, the battle for the leading ecosystem for Internet-of-things …

Not all principles can be thrown overboard. Creating value and sustainable competitive advantage still requires the need to solve a (latent) problem; Fulfilling shortcomings and unmet needs. Taking a customer-centric approach means to focus on their jobs, gains and pains. And live the frequency and intensity of their pain.

businessplanInnovation can and should be accelerated. Time is scarce and timing often crucial. Entrepreneurship through learning-by-doing shortens the development cycle and strengthens the learning curve. Because innovation only gains value in interaction with the market. And one thing is certain; things go differently than expected. So no boarded-up business plans and higher spreadsheet skills to offer a false sense of security. But always based on fundamental customer insights and well-founded market hypotheses. If you cannot fail, you cannot learn to succeed. That is the fastest time-to-value.