Innovation is about coming up with insightful ideas and taking them successfully to the market. Success in innovation requires an eye for promising technologies - most innovators constantly scout for new technologies, they are good at quickly assessing the promising technologies and they are adept in adapting new technologies into their innovative solutions. But this is only half of the story. These ideas, however insightful they may be, see a variety of barriers on their way to the market - current statistics indicate that less than 5% of the original ideas become innovations that succeed in the market. Growing the ideas into innovation requires an uncanny ability to smell business opportunities. Many good ideas are lost in the funnel as they could not be aligned to business opportunities. Hence a successful innovator has a good eye for technology and a reliable nose for business opportunities. If an innovator lacks in one of these skills, he needs to join hands with a partner possessing complementary skills. Here is an example, from the Philips brothers who founded Philips in the Netherlands, that corroborates this view.
Much of the company’s subsequent success was based on the research laboratory that Gerard Philips established in 1914. The manufacturing technology used for bulbs could also be applied in the production of radio valves, and from valves the company progressed in the 1920s to become one of Europe’s principal producers of radio receivers, making a million by 1932.
- Innovation = Insightful Idea + Go to Market Plan
- Innovation needs Eye for Technology & Nose for Business Opportunity
- Innovators need to acquire both technology expertise and business acumen.