20 December 2005

What the market wants

I have been following a training session on the marketing of innovation. What a treat! Many times, the speaker told us: "if you should only remember one thing from this training, it is,..." which was a funny running gag (until he said "..., hum, not this one").

The market opportunity

Among the things to remember were:
  • where's the need? is it conscious/expressed, comfort/strategic, adressed/covered?
  • are you relevant -and- credible to cover it?
If there's a real need:
  • conscious -> if possible (otherwise, it will be really hard unless you're a big corp)
  • strategic -> necessarily (somebody has to start living again thanks to you)
  • adressed -> always (don't dream awake, the world is not waiting for you to turn),
and you have something relevant enough to convince other people,...

then go ahead! You have a market.

Those 3 questions were so appealing that I couldn't help but think: "ok what would be the next need that I could fulfill with a new innovative product?" (unfortunately, I found nothing yet,... but asking the question again and again should bring something!)

Stay focused and prioritize

The rest is only one thing: stay focused. It is not so original (see Geoffrey Moore book) but this is the real trick to succeeding.

Product development, commercial development, communication development -are- terribly expensive and error-prone activities. So gather all your energies on the right battlefield.

Oh, yes, one more thing (hence the running gag,...): define a strategy that will allow you to extend your playground, once your primary, tightly-focused market is covered.

Write it down

On the way home, I applied all those principles to 2 prospective markets for our products. I found out something: it really pays to write down things when you do any strategic planning. I have often observed, in our board discussions, that the more recent customer event took the lead over any previous experience. This must have something to do with our limited brain capacities (see Herbert Simon "limited rationality" concept). By detailing numerous facts, I could determine many different reasons why one market was better than the other, and which kind of product and value proposition were to be made on each of them. I think that any discussion on the subject could have driven us into circles.

Just do it!

Innovative Entrepreneurship is not a piece of cake but it really looks like the world will never be quite the same when you succeed. Well, maybe even if you try!

No comments: