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How Fast can you Bring Innovation to the Market?

Being quick to innovate and implement is one of the keys to the success of innovation. Try it, and if it doesn’t work, change it. This is one of the most controversial maxims, do we need a prototype, a test? In what use cases or ideas?

Let’s start from the beginning, for those who are not involved in the management of innovation and can be lost in these first statements, questions and philosophical answers. A basic innovation process that goes from an idea to a product that a person can use can last thirty or simply two years. For example, the MP3 music format that was born from decades of research and that has revolutionized the music market is a clear example of long years of research. The MP3 format was researched, developed and marketed from the German private public institute Fraunhofer Institute in the town of Erlangen in Bavaria. But an idea of ​​changing a process can be applied in a year in a large factory or company depending on the resources available to change the machinery, suppliers and the way of working. A change in the way of working of a company, can be an idea and a great innovation that can give a value to that company and that can be applied quickly.

Time in innovation depends on the type of idea and the final result that you want, but if you want speed, this time factor has to be in the minds of everyone involved. Is it necessary to implement it in one year or in two years? What do you have to do to make “our idea” come true? How many resources do you need? What is budget?

It is clear that from an idea you can not answer these questions, but yes, you can have draft first estimation from a first description of the concept and the business model canvas. A business model canvas is highly recommended to do it even for a small idea, because it gives us a different perspective of the value of that idea and its impact on your company, group, product or service.

The speed has to be in the execution of the idea, and here I put an example in which all the energies and time have to be dedicated to go fast:

  • 1 day, you have an idea, you write a paper
  • 1 week, thinking
  • 1 week, The concept is worked through creativity techniques, canvas model, paper sketches, value chain, ecosystem, risks, impact, etc.
  • 1 week, thinking
  • 2 weeks, If it is a very complicated product like a printer or a shoe it has to be prototyped together with the suppliers and the factory. All together and in a short time. If it is a process or a service, they must be tested with end users in real spaces or paper prototypes in one or two sessions with a maximum of ten people.
  • 1 week, thinking
  • 1 week, If the mini prototypes have been satisfactory, to implement! Otherwise, we return to point 2 to review the concept with the results of the prototypes.
  • 1 week, think and send to execute with a good project manager (describe the project plan)
  • Ah! If you are doing small prototypes and they are good, you go to implement them! But if you are in a company, at points 1 and 2 you have already had to talk to the superiors, with whom they have more decision power, and it has been decided that this idea and concept is the maximum execution priority.

Total conception and prototype time: 2 months.