Ever wonder how companies such as Apple can continuously be one of the most innovative companies and largely successful at the same time? The answer is not as complicated as you might think. It does not involve hiring the budget busting techie or purchasing the most up to date programs. The answer is simple: develop an imperfect product.
According to For Successful Innovation, Sell Imperfect Products, by Larry Popelka, many companies take the MVP, or minimum viable product approach, eliminating large upfront research and development costs towards new ideas. The thought behind MVP is to find the fastest, most cost-effective way to create a market-ready product that delivers on your general idea and provokes a reaction from potential buyers. Though many people may not buy the product, using this technique generates feedback on the product’s features and ultimately provides a blueprint for the final design. Creating the imperfect product and introducing it to the market allows you to test the water, get feedback, and build an even better product that is more likely to succeed because you have already collected research.
Masters of this practice include Starbucks, Nike, PowerBar and Coca-Cola. Starbucks, for example, uses this method for nearly every new product. The concept is tested in a few stores while the idea is still new. Timely testing leaves competition in the dark and gives Starbucks one up when they officially go-to-market.
Starbucks is a prime example of the CANI effort and results. You must constantly be improving your process, products, and overall customer experience. Is innovation an indication of your future? Absolutely. Without it, your company cannot grow, you will never beat out your competitor, and you will have extremely dissatisfied customers.
There’s a saying that if you’re not constantly creating new ideas, introducing new products, and improving what you currently offer, someone else will. In the video below, Simon Sinek gives us the perfect example of the Wright Brothers. They beat out their well funded and well supported competition because they worked for something they believed in rather than working for the sake of success. This mindset allowed them to be more innovative when producing model after model before developing a final product that worked and took flight.
How do you ensure you’re always improving your offerings and fostering an environment of innovation? Let us know in the comments section below.