Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Product Design Approaches and Challenges faced

While we study about the innovations brought by different companies, I came across some interesting articles, which say about how different companies approach towards new product design.

The article says if we see the usual approaches followed by some seemingly very innovative companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, we can see the three quite different approaches which are
1. Identifying customers' needs
2. Read the market(competitors) and define innovation
3. Leveraging benefits of technology ( focus on market and customer is the second priority)

It seems interesting the way these companies bring innovation into the market in such a different way, and even then being so successful in the same market( all of them producing mobile phones, tablets). I think, these three approaches are quite interrelated. Given that Apple was not the first one to define touch technology, it figured out the most convenient way users might feel to use touch. It should have followed the other two research methods too(reading market and knowing more about touch technology), in order to come up with the final "something new and different".

Diving deep into these approaches, in the article, the writer says we can divide the approaches into inspiration driven or aspiration driven. Inspiration driven companies like Google, Apple are more focused towards inspiration, innovation than anything else. They are the ones which break the usual mould  and bring new trends in the market. Whereas the companies like Goldman Sachs, are more focused towards increasing the market share, their hold over the market."They continually analyse potential products, services, geographies for the most profitable routes and will pursue those with vigour as long as the profits meet expectation." This leads them indirectly to innovation.
I agree with the writer here, that aspiration driven seem more selfish and focused towards their profit. While the inspiration driven ones are even profitable, but they bring so much more to the society in terms of innovation, making life much more convenient for the society by such new product designs.

Given all this, I was curious about how companies might be getting so many ideas from or what could be the challenges they might be facing in coming up with such ideas . The article of Harvard Business Review,says "the main issue with innovation is not bringing up the new idea, but it is more about recognition". The research mentioned in the article proves that when we as users are faced with some uncertainty amount, we are biased against the creative and new ideas initially. And there can be no innovation without uncertainty, as the article has to say. The Harvard Business Review article, says that when the new idea has to pass through a structured hierarchy, it is where the idea might face problem in being implemented. The approach followed by Rite-Solutions mentioned in the article seems quite inspiring for giving ground to the innovative ideas. The ideas being posted on the internal blog, where each idea is posted in virtual market and then the employees are given virtual stock to invest for such ideas, seems so exciting and inspiring. Probably, this could be a good way to bring the new ideas to the notice.

What could be the best approach to be followed for innovation ? Or can be there any best approach ? What could be many more ways in which the companies could come up with innovation ideas ? While pondering over these questions, one more article which I could think of is the Eight I's For Infinite Innovation approach.

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