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The "SEARCH" for Innovation"

Posted by Chip Block on October 31, 2020 3:20 PM EDT
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Between lessons from age-old fables, metaphors and acronyms, there are many ways to....

...try to simplify the elements of a very complex, but important concept we focus on continuously-innovation.  I tend to favor acronyms whose letters spell out an element of the concept and which sometimes become a formula for success attributes.

That said, I offer the idea of the "SEARCH" for Innovation.

All innovations, especially fast-growing disruptive or market-creating innovations have at least four common attributes that when compared to the dominant/incumbent leader are measurably distinct and better for the innovator.

These typically have at least one of the four attributes as being measurably distinct and for the best ones which grow enormously successful in a rapid period of time and eventually become the defacto new standard, all four are distinctly better, with at least two of them being measurably so.

The SEARCH for Innovation:

Simple: The innovation does not require a complex course to operate or use, it doesn't require an owners manual.  It is intuitive and can be explained to a new user by a friend who is already a fan and user-thus it's also "social".

Effective:  The innovation must produce clear results, preferrably ones that become so important it opens new patterns of consumption

Affordable:  The cost of ownership, in dollars and time, are significantly less than the incumbents' offerings

Reliable:  The innovation works and does so consistently, dependably and with a minimum amount repair or service support required.

Convenient: The innovation is readily available and easy to access and put to use quickly

Helpful:  The innovation must help users "do a job they need to get done".  This phrase was made famous by Dr. Clayton Christensen, but in it's essence it means it must be relevant and useful and can easily replace other options for getting the job done, including in some cases just getting the job done when no other solution adequately provides an advantage in terms of being simple, effective, affordable, reliable or convenient.

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