By Kevin O’Connor with Paul B. Brown
The Map of Innovation is O’Connor’s step-by-step approach to devising lucrative new products and services and bringing them to market, through a process that has proven itself time and again in many different industries.
Whether you are trying to create something new or innovate within an existing company, the steps are the same – and there is a process that will allow you to do it faster, cheaper and better.
In every start-up or attempt to invoate within an existing organization, these are the fundamental issues that deservce your full attention :
1) Creating a large number of viable ideas
2) Picking up the right idea to purse
3) Creating a highly focused strategy to bring the idea to market
4) Getting the money to fund the strategy
5) Hiring great people to implement the strategy
Customers want to do business with a stable company, so your office should give the air of stability. But nobody likes to do business with a company whose office space is too lavish. It gives customers the impression that you might be charging too much for your products.
Think of waste as a disease that will spread through your company. When the office space is lavish, employees will think it’s okay to check in to lavish hotels and throw lavish parties. If a prospective new employee doesn’t want to join because the office space isn’t nice enough then consider yourself lucky to have avoided contact with Typhoid Mary. Remember, the point of raising money is not to spend it. It is to build the business.
You need people who can figure out solutions to all the problems you are going to face. You need smart people. If a person fails all the tests below, or even a majority of them, beware!
1. Did he attend a good school? The harsh reality is that our university system does a reasonable job of screening people. In general, highly intelligent people from any socioeconomic background can graduate from a competitive university. I have yet to meet a stupid person with a Harvard or Standford MBA.
2. How did she do at school; what did she do?
Their performance at the university might not be a very good indicator of intelligence. In fact, it might even be inversely correlated. Bookworms tend not to be street-smart, even if they are grade-smart.
3. Have him explain your business.
Smart people have the uncanny ability to pick out essential elements of what you do. They might get a few things wrong, but if they are smart, they’ll at least be thinking in the right direction. They will have a solid handle on what your firm does, who it competes with, and what the business landscape looks like.
4. Pose simple logic questions to her. Example : How many people die in New York City each day?
The biggest variables are overall life expectancy and population. If you know roughly how many people live in the city, say eight million, and you have a handle on how long people live on average, example 75 years old, you can make a reasonable guess at how many people die each day. Again, you aren’t looking ofr an exact answer. You are looking for the way people approach problems.
For most business problems, there are no right answers with 100% certainty. When it comes to major decisions, you never have all the data you need. You have to take incomplete information and come up with the best answer you can, and that requires sound thinking and common sense.