Revealing Emerging Expectations, the most important step of innovation.

February 12, 2008 · Posted in innovation, strategy · 1 Comment 

Emerging expectations are the things customers will start to demand next. These are features, benefits, and values current products are missing but customers haven’t started demanding yet. When customers realize these desires can be met they will demand it from all future products. It’s essential to have something ready when that happens or you will lose customers.

Working on things customers are already asking for puts you in a race with others. If you try to meet existing desires you are in a race against time. Even if you make it to market first, your advantage will quickly disappear. Others will develop competing products, if they haven’t already been working on them. If you don’t have the next product ready your innovation will be overwhelmed with copycats that make improvements on your design.

Revealing emerging expectations allows you to work two steps ahead so you always have the next great thing perfected and ready to release when the demand is strongest and profits are greatest. Plus if you can accurately predict the future innovations you will be able to overwhelm competitors with improvements faster and with less expense than they can copy you. You get ahead, stay ahead, and increase your lead.

Just because you can make it doesn’t mean customers will want it. To get the best return on investment you need to choose the innovations customers will do anything to get. And even if it’s something customers want it doesn’t mean its right for you to sell. So the innovation system you use must reveal a large selection emerging expectations, preferably all, and provide a way for you to compare and rank them in order of value to you.
Many people can think of pie in the sky “futuristic” products. Science fiction is full of those types of ideas. Some of those sci-fi products actually do become real products and are successful. The question is, when? Absolutely predicting the future is impossible but understanding the land marks to watch for gives you the information to plan your actions. If a new product depends on other developments then you should wait for those to be released before releasing yours. You can have everything ready to go and jump into the market at the exact right time. You maximize profits and minimize risk. A complete innovation system shows you those land marks with enough lead time to act.

Revealing the emerging expectations is what makes the OutCompete Predictive Innovation Method predictive and not just another feel good innovation system. The way it does this is by using certain laws of systems that apply to every system. Understanding that every system must follow certain laws allows you to see which things will become “must have innovations” and the order it will occur.

Make a Killing With Unprofitable Ideas.

January 8, 2007 · Posted in innovation, strategy · Comment 

Destroy your competitionThe most valuable idea you can find might be the one that you can’t profitably market. Have I totally gone out of my mind? Has all this talk of abundance and things being free and eliminating jobs being a good thing rotted my brain? No, not in the slightest! For once I’m going to tell you a way to succeed in a scarcity environment. I’m even going to tell you how to fight dirty and DESTROY YOUR COMPETITION. No I’m not talking about some profound way of avoiding competition and embracing each other to become friends. I mean wipe out, nuke, obliterate, put out of business and just be mean nasty and underhanded.

You’ve created a fabulous product. Your marketing has connected with customers that stand in line to buy your great new product. The profits are rolling in. You make plans to expand and crank out more of your product to meet the ever-increasing demand. Life is great.

So there you are driving your new super luxury convertible when you hear on the radio that someone figured out a way to do exactly what your product does for 1/10th the price of your product with something just about everyone can get in any store. You spit your double latte half-caff espresso all over the windshield and nearly run off the road. In utter disbelief you shout, “how is that possible!?!” You can’t even buy the raw materials to make your product for that price.

When you get to your office and try to verify what you heard on the radio you get the call. Your largest distributor just canceled that multi-million dollar order. That is when it hits you; instead of spending 3 weeks on a cruise you will be begging investors and bankers for help to avoid bankruptcy.

That is why you need to discover unprofitable ideas. If you had known this was possible you never would’ve risked so much. You would have found a different product and you would’ve been prepared. When you come up with your great innovation you need to uncover all the competition. Competition might not be another business. It might be the next great idea just around the corner. Sometimes the worst competition is your own customers. If your customers suddenly don’t need your product, you’re business is dead.

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