strategy

How to Reduce Your Innovation Risk

The trouble with innovation is it’s risky.  Sure, the upside is nice (increased sales), but the downside (it doesn’t work) is distasteful.

Everyone is looking for the magic pill to change the risk-reward ratio of innovation, but there is no pill. Though there are some things you can do to tip the scale in your favor.pill

All problems are business problems.  Problem solving is the key to innovation, and all problems are business problems.  And as companies embrace the triple bottom line philosophy, where they strive to make progress in three areas – environmental, social and financial, there’s a clear framework to define business problems.

Start with a business objective.  It’s best to define a business problem in terms of a shortcoming in business results. And the holy grail of business objectives is the growth objective.  No one wants to be the obstacle, but, more importantly, everyone is happy to align their career with closing the gap in the growth objective.  In that way, if solving a problem is directly linked to achieving the growth objective, it will get solved.

Sell more.  The best way to achieve the growth objective is to sell more. Bottom line savings won’t get you there.  You need the sizzle of the top line. When solving a problem is linked to selling more, it will get solved.

Customers are the only people that buy things.  If you want to sell more, you’ve got to sell it to customers. And customers buy novel usefulness.  When solving a problem creates novel usefulness that customers like, the problem will get solved.  However, before trying to solve the problem, verify customers will buy what you’re selling.

No-To-Yes.  Small increases in efficiency and productivity don’t cause customers to radically change their buying habits.  For that your new product or service must do something new. In a No-To-Yes way, the old one couldn’t but the new one can. If solving the problem turns no to yes, it will get solved.

Would they buy it? Before solving, make sure customers will buy the useful novelty. (To know, clearly define the novelty in a hand sketch and ask them what they think.) If they say yes, see the next question.

Would it meet our growth objectives? Before solving, do the math. Does the solution result in incremental sales larger than the growth objective? If yes, see the next question.

Would we commercialize it? Before solving, map out the commercialization work. If there are no resources to commercialize, stop.  If the resources to commercialize would be freed up, solve it.

Defining is solving. Up until now, solving has been premature. And it’s still not time. Create a functional model of the existing product or service using blocks (nouns) and arrows (verbs). Then, to create the problem(s), add/modify/delete functions to enable the novel usefulness customers will buy.  There will be at least one problem – the system cannot perform the new function. Now it’s time to take a deep dive into the physics and bring the new function to life.  There will likely be other problems.  Existing functions may be blocked by the changes needed for the new function. Harmful actions may develop or some functions will be satisfied in an insufficient way.  The key is to understand the physics in the most complete way.  And solve one problem at a time.

Adaptation before creation. Most problems have been solved in another industry. Instead of reinventing the wheel, use TRIZ to find the solutions in other industries and adapt them to your product or service.  This is a powerful lever to reduce innovation risk.

There’s nothing worse than solving the wrong problem. And you know it’s the wrong problem if the solution does not (1) solve a business problem, (2) achieve the growth objective, (3) create more sales, (4) provide No-To-Yes functionality customers will buy, and (5) you won’t allocate the resources to commercialize.

And if the problem successfully runs the gauntlet and is worth solving, spend time to define it rigorously.  To understand the bedrock physics, create a functional of the system, add the new functionality and see what breaks. Then use TRIZ to create a generic solution, search for the solution across other industries and adapt it.

The key to innovation is problem solving. But to reduce the risk, before solving, spend time and energy to make sure it’s the right problem to solve. It’s far faster to solve the right problem slowly than to solve the wrong one quickly.

Sorgente: How to Reduce Your Innovation Risk

Blue Ocean, Methods, strategy

Singapore gets a gigantic ‘vending machine’ for buying luxury cars

Singapore is a country known worldwide for both a very high cost of living and limited real estate space — that combination makes it hard to imagine a better location for a gigantic vending machine that spits out luxury cars.

That’s right, folks. Autobahn Motors, a company that started out selling used vehicles in conventional showrooms, recently opened a 15-story building in Singapore that looks like a real-life kid’s toy box hidden inside the Southeast Asian city-state.

The structure can hold up to 60 high-end vehicles — it includes cars from Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche — which can be purchased by customers who visit the location.

Rather than a regular sales process, visitors to the Autobahn Motors’ site complete their purchase via a tablet device and customized app. Their car will be delivered to them within two minutes of their payment thanks to a unique ‘fishbone’ delivery system that Covered.Asia experienced in a pre-launch demo last year.

“We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative,” Gary Hong, general manager at Autobahn Motors, explained to Reuters in a recent interview.

Read more https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/15/singapore-gets-a-gigantic-vending-machine-for-buying-luxury-cars/

Blue Ocean, Methods, science and future, technology

Microsoft holographic display for your glasses

Microsoft may be hard at work making HoloLens and other AR/VR headsets a reality for Windows, but none of these devices really deal with holograms.

hologram-prototype-focus-control

A true hologram requires a laser-generated 3D image floating in front of your vision to work. HoloLens uses two, 2D images projected onto flat glass to create the illusion of a 3D object. In Microsoft’s latest breakthrough, the image is generated right onto the lens itself to create a true holographic image in one eye.

Microsoft is also working on making holograms more comfortable to look at. They are currently hoping to make holographic displays that people could use without their corrective lenses. These holograms would be able to correct near- and far- sightedness as well as astigmatism. Microsoft’s current holographic display now take into account once inaccessible combinations form factor and field of view as well. Their most recent prototype is similar to sunglasses in form with a thin and transparent holographic optical element. It also allows for a 80 degree horizontal field of view.

science and future, technology

BORING THROUGH TRAFFIC

To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, the solution is to go three-dimensional, which could be done using flying cars or to go underground. “The other option is to ‘go down’ and build tunnels,” the website states, as these provide a fair amount of perks, including weatherproofing and the practically limitless layers of tunnels that could be built…much better than malfunctioning cars potentially plummeting from the sky.

But there is a problem. First, there’s the cost. Second, existing tunnels can’t support the Hyperloop pods. Musk’s new company is out to fix this.

“Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10,” explains the new FAQ. To make the tunnel more cost effective and efficient, its diameter is going to be less than 4 meters (14 feet) — whereas normal tunnels (one-lane road tunnels) are usually about 8.5 meters (28 feet) in diameter. To do this, Musk’s tunnel company would use what it calls an “electric sled.”

Musk’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) — or Godot — is ready to start digging the first among these network of tunnels. However, as the TBM isn’t even as fast as a snail yet, Musk is determined to find ways to make tunnel digging faster — “to defeat the snail in a race” by increasing the TBM’s speed, which will also cut down costs