Successful Innovation needs environmental alignment

Environmental Alignment

For Innovations to be successful there are numerous factors which need to be considered ranging from the products desirability, price point, interactions with the external technological landscape and whether additional environmental factors will hamper any mass roll out. 

If you cast your mind back to 2010 when the iPad 1 hit the stores it was not just the introduction of a touch screen tablet by Apple that made it successful, there were numerous others factors at play.  Just think without the App Store concept the tablet would not have been so attractive to the masses, widespread Wi-Fi needed to be available, the developer community had to embrace the product and quickly provide app access to all of the popular web sites (some other operating systems still have issues with this) have an extended battery life and built-in camera for video calls was essential.  These were only a few of the hundreds of innovations the iPad 1 offered and all needed careful planning to ensure it was launched at the optimal time when non-Apple environmental conditions were correct.  The challenges of the iPad are no different for any other disruptive Innovation as all environmental factors need to be considered to be successful.  If you think about some of the latest upcoming Innovations it will be interesting to see if the market place is right for their launches, will you buy the new iWatch if it only has a 4 hour battery life if used as a phone or will you wait for battery technology to improve? Will you consider buying a battery only vehicle or will you wait for more widespread rollout of charging stations nationwide, would you use drone delivery for Amazon orders if piloted in the UK as the current US regulation does not make it easy to deploy?  There are a number of disruptive innovations around the corner which will affect end to end supply chains however environmental factors may make the implementation of these troublesome however the rewards will be immense.

All enterprises need to decide whether they “play to win” or “play not to lose” as even though launching a successful product at the right time requires lots of experience the rewards are there for the taking, however should it not be you need to fail fast for financial damage limitation as even the most successful companies have a string of products that were just launched at the wrong time without considering environment factors rather than them being overtly wrong propositions.  Everyone remembers the successful launches rather than the bad (as long as there isn’t too many).



Author: Steve Wakefield

Steve Wakefield is an experienced Innovator presently based in London.

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