We hope that you have had quite a few inspirations over the last 8 days that have led to innovation ideas. Now it’s time to reflect on these inspirations and ideas and put them into action.
For the presentation and eventually as an orientation for the implementation of an idea, you need a structure. The Business Model Canvas presented by Osterwalter and Pigneur (2010) provides a good structure with which innovations can also be represented well, since the questions posed by Osterwalder and Pigneur explain very well what is behind an idea.
In the following, we write of ‘innovation’ although it is currently about an idea. We look into the future and answer as if the idea had already been implemented and was therefore an innovation.
Clients and customers
We have already pointed out several times that customers are crucial to the success of an innovation. That is why we are starting with the questions about customers:
- For who does this innovation add value? Meaning, who has a problem that this innovation addresses?
- Who are the most important customers? Can you describe customer groups?
Customers are only impressed by the innovation if it addresses a problem that cannot be solved in any other way or can be solved less effectively. The point here is to be clear about what the problem is that the innovation solves and how it thus provides benefits.
- What problem does the innovation address?
- What benefit does the innovation provide?
- How is the problem being solved and the benefit created? Here you can briefly describe the innovation.
- What other products / services / processes exist that address the problem. How does your innovation differ from existing solutions?
It doesn’t help if you have a brilliant innovation that solves an important customer problem, but you can’t get this innovation ‘out to the people’. So it’s important to ask yourself how you want to reach customers with your innovation.
- How can you reach your customers?
- How does the innovation reach those who will benefit from it?
Income sources and costs
Always keep in mind that earnings are important for the long-term survival of your innovation. This does not mean that this question is only relevant for innovations that you bring to market with the intention of making a gain. This question is also – and perhaps even especially – relevant for any innovation you design even if it is not for profit; the costs caused by this innovation need to be covered. These are questions that may not seem so easy to you. By all means, also be inspired by products or services that can be compared: what do the earnings look like there?
- Who will pay for the innovation?
- What do your income sources look like?
- What do your costs look like?
By activities, we mean the actions you need to take to achieve customer benefits….
- What actions do you need to take to bring the innovation to life?
- What activities do you need to perform if the innovation already exists and you want to keep it running?
Up next, you should be thinking about the resources you would need to carry out the activities. Resources are eventually what is practically needed to carry out the activities of your business. Think about space, computers, materials, manpower, internet…
- What resources are needed to deliver value to customers?
We have already pointed out several times that you will probably not be able to implement your idea on your own. You need partners to implement the idea and you need partners to keep the innovation running. These don’t always have to be the same partners.
- Which partners are needed to implement the idea?
- Which partners are needed to keep the innovation ‘running’?
Describe the innovation in one or two short sentences.
Put together a description of your innovation idea. Stick to the structure when doing so:
- Customers & Clients
- Income sources & costs
- Brief description
Now you have a description of your innovation idea that you can share with others (for example, your mentor), that you can use to convince others and that you can discuss with others to improve.
You now also have a description of your innovation idea that you can send to us to receive a certificate of participation in the Innov8 Now! program.
Rest assured, we will keep your idea confidential. We have designed this program purely for didactic and scientific interest.
The art of innovating
In the end, it turns out that innovating is somehow a skill after all. A whole range of good tips and advice feeds its acquisition. Check out Guy Kawasaki’s talk on innovating: