Nylon, sticky notes, the microwave oven, and velcro were all discovered while the inventors were looking for something else. Perhaps the important questions to ask are “I wonder, what if…, ” or “I wonder why that is…”
This is why we like to say that innovation is not about invention. Most often, it is about solving a common problem with a unique application of an existing idea. Rather than viewing experimental failure as an impediment to proving the theory, perhaps it’s better to understand why it failed in the first place. Then be open to go down the path that opens before you.
In the customer discovery process, this is where pivots come from. You test a value proposition with customers, typically to find out your original idea does not resonate. It’s important to understand why because the answer may lead you to a bigger, more important problem to solve.
Thanks to Louisa Rispoli for this quote in her email footer…
Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson