Creating innovative products can come via sheer serendipity, but most of the time they are the result of hard work and taking deliberate steps in an innovation process.

Here are the basics steps for inventing new products:

Awareness: A problem, idea, or random thought jumps up and bites you and it makes you think to yourself, “There has got to be a better way” or “Hey, this is a great idea”.

Incubation: The light is now on and you think about the issue—-you might even obsess over it. You may lie in bed at night thinking of it.

Visualization: Solutions and options start to emerge but they lack structure or form. You may start to write things down.

Illumination: Your ideas are starting to take shape and you are able to articulate them to others. It takes some bravery to do this since many people greet new ideas with skepticism.

Verification: You start to detail the solution or solutions into concrete prototypes.

Alpha Offering: You create a working prototype to prove to yourself and your colleagues that it can be done. It is not ready for customer review since it may be full of bugs and is untested.

Beta Offering: Your solution is ready for some real world testing so you let a few special customers try it out. You can expect some harsh feedback and criticism at this stage.

Redesign: The feedback was valuable no matter how much it hurt to hear it. Many times this feedback sends you back to the drawing board, but it is worth it. Sometimes, this kills the idea off.

Pre-release: A new and improved offering goes back for additional testing by the customer. Your fingers are crossed but often you get even more feedback.

Release: Your offering is now debugged and is ready for customer usage. Now the big question is will be accepted? Will it sell?

Although some innovation solutions come from a moment of inspiration, most come from perspiration.

Jack London said, “You can’t sit around and wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Listen to Jack.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2007 All rights reserved.

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