Monday, April 7, 2014

Innovation requires communication. The case of the reverse twisting buzznut.

   When I was in my third year of university I decided to launch a business wherein students would submit a resume to my database (pre-Internet) and I would in turn market their resumes to companies based on their selection criteria. Not a wildly different model from or other career sites today.

   There was just one problem. In 1985, there weren't a whole lot of people thinking about databases, there was no to compare myself to, and in general few people understood what I was talking about. Thus the innovation dilemma. Great to have a new idea, but people don't generally buy things that they don't understand.

   Fast forward a year, I was out of money and patience (not that either were especially abundant previously) and simply folded up my tent and went on to other things. But the lesson of those days did remain. When you invent or present the world with a new idea, you better be able to very simply explain the concept, because people aren't going to hang around for a class on the subject. 

   The easiest explanations are those that allow the audience to reference an existing idea. If, for instance, I mentioned that I had an amazing new type of donut, you'd have an image and usefulness in your mind already. It might not be exactly what I was doing, but it would likely be close. But if I said I had a reverse twisting buzznut to help with your laundry, you'd be understandably in need of further information.

   The reverse twisting buzznut might be awesome and filled with benefits. But until the potential buyers understand the product sufficiently to become "actual" buyers your cash is going out the window. The idea will only make it when someone emerges with the resources and skills to get the message out effectively. 

  If you happen to be an innovator, you must also be a communicator, or have access to one. In most instances it would be best if it is a different person. The innovator/inventor inherently understands the product/service, and that's not usually a great starting point for explaining it to others. 

  Without communication, innovation will languish in isolation. A lonely reverse twisting buzznut sitting dusty on the shelf.



1 comment:

  1. Good read
    If we have product we must know it very well and can expaint
    or communicate others to understand ,if not we can not sell the product
    and that product and innovation will be useless.

    Thanks for sharing...Tim...:-)