Innovation is the successful introduction of something new. And fundamentally, it is the direct result of questioning the status quo; that which precedes it. So, when setting out to change the status quo it is useful to ask yourself: what’s the outcome we want?
It’s a basic question, but one that no one seems to think about. Here then, I’ll elaborate on the fundamental outcomes of innovation…
How do you know when something is an innovation? My own criteria is it is something new, surprising and radically useful. Also, an innovation results in better outcomes for both the entrepreneur/business and the customers; so there is a standard behavior change.
The outcomes are as varied as human endeavor itself: new languages, new products, new business models, new games, new medicines, etc..
The result of innovation is an improvement: a problem is solved more effectively, a process is more efficient, a risk is reduced, convenience is improved. Improvements can be in one or many of these areas:
- better service,
- consolidation of multiple functions into one tool,
- decreased need for supplies and equipment,
- empowerment of users,
- improved interface,
- increased customizability,
- increased longevity,
- increased productivity,
- reduced user effort,
- reduced environmental impact,
- saving of money,
- saving of space or storage,
- saving of time.
Put simply, people are transformed when innovation occurs.