When it comes to innovation, Seth Godin talks about collecting dots. Richard Branson touts connecting dots. And Steve Jobs said “Let the dots fall where they may”. If you take a look a the top innovative thinkers of our time you might think that the point of innovation is just pointillism or maybe even a pointless game.
This type of Morse Code communications has led many frustrated leaders to collect ideas, fill whiteboards, and struggle to deliver what’s next. The real innovation challenge is less about dots and more about the experience.
Most will tell you that innovation is a new techno-gadget or widgety-thing-a-ma-bob. Or that it’s the next complex device that can make your keyboard float. But innovation is actually much simpler than that.
Innovation is an improved experience that is craved, envied, and buzz-worthy. Check out these examples.
When the iPhone hit the streets there were already smartphones on the market. The ability to point and click wasn’t new. However, people still crawled over broken glass buck-naked in the middle of a blizzard to sit in the freezing cold for two days to grab an iPhone so they could feel like they were a smarter and cooler part of the tech generation. Customers craved the new experience and chucked their Blackberries and BES servers to have it.
When UBER, a highly personalized taxi service, blazed into town they were considered innovative as well. But taxis had already been around for quite a while… ask anyone in NY. But, UBER improved the experience of getting from destination to destination safely with a couple of touches on your smart phone. I know people who wait on an UBER rather than take the next available taxi.
And even the newest techno-gadgety wonder, the 3D Printer by inventor Chuck Hall, was developed to improve how architects developed small scale models automating the highly tedious work.
Innovation is all about creating or improving the user experience. Create an experience that your customers crave, your competitors envy, and your industry can’t stop talking about and you have hit the innovation trifecta.