We often hear people say “there is no innovation without failure.” While occasional failures can be seen as beneficial and as an experimental learning process, there is no doubt that constant failure will lead to a downfall.

Why innovations and ideas fail

Innovations and ideas fail in the marketplace for a variety of reasons. Companies should at least understand the following common causes of innovation and ideas failures:

Assuming they know what the market wants
Many companies assume they know what their customers want…without asking the customers. Innovationexcellence.com calls this “inside out” innovation. “Innovators and product managers think they understand customer needs based on some market research and company history and don’t engage customers to truly understand unmet or unarticulated needs. When the products or services are launched, there are few buyers and the ideas seem uninteresting. That’s because the needs were formed based on misunderstanding or a lack of interaction to discover what customers want,” they explain.

Not having the tools to efficiently gather ideas
Successful innovations start with great ideas. However, it can take hundreds of ideas to lead to one great innovation. That being said, companies should start gathering ideas from outside the organization.

Not predicting new trends in the industry
The marketplace is changing more rapidly than ever. Customers now expect more from companies. Therefore, in order stay on top of the competition, companies should stop assuming that their business will remain successful if they continue to work the same way as they always have. Companies should therefore learn to predict new market trends and be aware of new innovative opportunities. Innovate on Purpose gives the following example: “Take, for instance, Sony, one of the leaders in portable music equipment and in recording. Why didn’t Sony create an iTunes concept? It would seem they had all the pieces, but they failed to notice the opportunity.”

Gathering ideas…but not doing anything about them
innovation and ideasOften, companies (or their customers) come up with great innovative ideas…but it often stops there. Once ideas are gathered, companies should analyze them, and move the appropriate ones from concept to product.

We want to know: What do you think causes innovation and ideas failures?

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