10 Ingredients for Successful Innovation

by Akbar Jaffer
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ingredients of innovation

Successful Innovation means a solution that solves a real world problem that has never been solved before or solves a problem better than all the existing solution. The key here is that an innovation that makes it into the market successfully and commands a significant market share. There are 1000’s of ideas and a few of them are real innovative. However for every 1000 ideas only one becomes an iPhone. What it is about those ideas and innovative solutions that make it and change the world while the others don’t see the light of store shelf’s day. I observed many past and modern disruptive innovative solutions to find a pattern. In this article I will share 10 ingredients for successful innovation.

When i think of such innovations the word disruption comes to mind. The Toyota Prius, Tesla car, Solar panels, the iPhone and iPad, the Internet. You get the idea.

  1. A legitimate and verified real world problem with a big enough market to make a difference in people’s lives. (Market validation, market size, economics, and tangible and intangible ROI).
  2. Ability to connect the dots that are seemingly unrelated. Learning, research and looking back.
  3. Subject matter experts and super smart execution team (Bill Gates self-powered toilets and sewage processing system hired a space engineer, Jobs had Woz).
  4. Mindshare of people with power and influence and somehow stake in the game (Bill Gates and David Marquardt, Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula)
  5. A courageous, bold, and visionary leader (Jobs, Gates, Musk, Bezos)
  6. Culture of celebrating failure, embracing it, and learning from it.
  7. Funding: A great idea needs great execution.
  8. A reasonable timeline but never rushing. We tend to compromise quality when we rush things)
  9. Superb marketing strategy and a rockstar team
  10. Mix of right technology

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