While an entrepreneur can be creative, a creative person may not become a successful entrepreneur. An entrepreneur uses innovative ways to test out and make good use of creative ideas. An entrepreneur may not be creative, but he/she can use ideas other creative people come up with and turn them into businesses. – Mr Inderjit Singh, The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship.

Many people can come up with really creative ideas. Ideas that can be so brilliant that they can even change the course of the world. It is the materializing of these ideas into effective products that make it an innovation. To come up with innovations takes some real entrepreneurial thinking.

Now, it does not mean that you need your own company to be innovative. You can bring in new initiatives to your current workplace, community or even your household.

But what does it take to produce innovative products and services?

Understanding the Problem
We start by understanding the problem at hand. What are the issues that our target audience is facing?

We then look into the characteristics of our target. What is their age group? What do they like? How can we solve their problems? How will the innovation improve their lives or work?

After that we see if taking on such a project is feasible. What are the costs of producing the product or service? Is it easy to produce? Will our customers be able to afford the product or service? Are we able to make profits? What is the benefit to all of us stakeholders?

Talking About Innovation Here
Innovation is about taking a creative idea and materializing it into an actual product or service for the real users. It is about solving problems and making peoples’ lives better. Looking at things with an entrepreneurial mindset will help you produce great products and services. An innovation does not have to start from scratch; it could just be tweaking an existing idea, to make it much better or more effective.

It is all about looking at things differently, from all angles if you may.

So how do I be more innovative? For this you must really think out of the box.

Start by asking questions:

What problems are the people facing? How can I help improve their lives/work? What if I do it differently from what everyone else is doing?

Then you start identifying all the processes that are happening, looking at every step on the way. Once you have gotten all the details, it is time to start researching on ways to make it better. Perhaps the product or service needs a redesign. Perhaps processes need to be done in a different way.

Always remember products/services are all used by humans. The end user or beneficiary is always human. So it is important to take that into account. How do people work? How will they feel if there are changes? Will they accept the change?

You may be able to create the most perfect product, but if it is not human friendly, it may be rejected or not used at all making the product useless.

So to recap what do we need to do?

  1. Understand the problem
  2. Understand the characteristics of the users
  3. Look into the design and costing of the product/service
  4. Will the users be able to afford it?
  5. Will the users accept it?

So now, what are we waiting for? Lets get started on some new innovations.

February 23, 2012

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