Innovation is one of the best approaches for success in the world of business. Any company or person that can innovate and come up with something better than the current best has an easy path to success. However, there have been many innovative companies that ended up failing. Not because they innovated, but because they approached innovative ideas in the wrong way. Let’s look at the 3 most common mistakes people make.
Mistake #1 : Not caring about the Price
One big problem that many innovative companies have is that they don’t do a cost/benefit analysis from the point of view of customers. A product doesn’t just have to be innovative; it also has to justify its price. Even if your product is more innovative than what is available in the market right now, and provides more benefits, people will not buy the product if the price is too high. Internet of Things products are a great example of this. Something like a thermostat with smart features can cost more than 300 US dollars. People love the options of smart thermostats, but not many of them will be willing to drop 300 dollars on it.
Mistake #2 : Ignoring Optics
‘Optics’ is a term that is normally used in the world of politics. Optics refers to the way something makes you look. An idea may be perfectly good and beneficial, but it may still look bad. A great example of this is Segway. Before Segway was launched there was a lot of hype for it. The company was supposed to revolutionize the way people travelled. There were dreams that the whole world will give up on walking and instead start using Segways. A Segway is a very convenient product and it is brilliantly engineered as well. Yet, arguing against people walking was just bad optics, especially when obesity is such a big problem. People were worried about being judged for using a Segway, and the company wasn’t able to reach any of its sales targets.
Mistake #3 : Disregarding societal norms
An innovative product will fail if it makes people feel uncomfortable. Google Glass is a great example of this. Google Glass, wearable glasses that overlaid information over the real world, was a very innovative product. It was a new technology that could be used conveniently. It wasn’t expensive either. Yet there was a huge backlash – not by consumers, but by other people. Someone wearing Google Glasses could discreetly take pictures or make videos. This made people mistrust Google Glass users. A term was even coined for people wearing Google Glasses – Gl***hole. The product ended up being discontinued.
Think of your innovative idea like a piece of the puzzle that you need to fit into people’s lives. It doesn’t just have to attach with their life on one side – it has to be the right shape to fit in on all sides. If your innovative idea is too expensive, makes the user feel uncomfortable, or even makes others uncomfortable, it may never succeed.