One of the biggest misconceptions in innovation is the belief that the end product needs to be something grandiose. A concoction of bells and whistles. Disruption. A leap in technological ability and performance. This is partly due to people’s misunderstanding of what innovation truly means and that of literature/ media.
You see, media has a thing for technological innovations. Internet of Things (IoT). 3D Printing. The next great piece of software. That is not to say that those aren’t important innovations, but there are endless opportunities to innovate beyond technology. Technology is also not always the answer to solving a problem. It is no wonder that people’s perception is skewed regarding what innovation truly is.
I always believe that the power of a truly innovative product is in the insight – that hidden truth that gets uncovered during research. That is grandiose.
Let me give you an example
Myofascial release through trigger point therapy is a common practice in athletic performance. Athletes need this sort of therapy to release ‘knots’ in their muscles. Conveniently enough, athletes have physiotherapists on hand that will provide that sort of therapy for them. An opportunity emerges from understanding that the general population doesn’t have the ability to afford personal therapists and their desire to emulate athletes. The solution? Self-myofascial release.
The solution, in the form of a product, is a tube of composite foam. No software. No electronics. No code. This is what the product looks like.
This tube has effectively pushed self-myofascial release to the masses (at an affordable $30 via Amazon). Since the design team has done a great job during research, they understood that the end product didn’t need to include any electronics.
The point is this
Don’t feel like you need to lock yourself in a lab and try to push as many features and technology into your product for it to be innovative. You might actually lose the point! (As Google Glass’s example proves). Focus on a powerful insight, and let it dictate the way you design your solution.