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By Roman Vuchtrl | 5/4/2021

Innovation Misconceptions: Debunking 5 myths about Go-To-Market Strategy

Innovation - 6 min read

Misconception 1: Novel or Nothing 

Innovation must be disruptive (and brand new).

Why is this false?

Innovation is crucial to long-term business success and resilience in a dynamic world. Today, the ability to develop, launch and scale innovations are the biggest differentiator that organisations stand or fall on. Since it is so important, people often incorrectly assume that entrepreneurship and innovation is some kind of a private VIP club to which only the brightest and unique thinkers may belong. 

But the truth lies somewhere else; disruptive innovations create new markets and change the current status quo of the existing ones. They make up only a few percent of all the innovations introduced worldwide. The devil is in the details and, very often, a mere incremental improvement can lead to a significant change, thereby turning your company into a market leader.

Misconception 2: First Impressions 

I cannot publicly expose my idea before it is ready because people won’t like it and will never come back. 

Why is this false?

Again, this seems to be a relatively logical thought but, there is not much truth to it in reality. You should seek feedback from your users as soon as you can. Only they can tell you what they like about your product, if and how it helps them, why they would use it and what value it brings them. Try it for yourself and you might be surprised to find out that people are willing to help you and they do not mind sacrificing a little bit of their time, especially if they are the intended end-users.  

Publishing ideas with the aim of being the first to the market is not the best approach, either. The first-to-market strategy is a misguided belief that being first in the market will provide a competitive advantage to your business. It is wrong to believe that This premise is flawed and it can negatively impact your whole business. Instead, let's twist the logic and look at it from a different perspective. 

Give yourself enough time to do product development right, to talk to your users; get to understand what problems they have and what prevents them from falling asleep at night. It will not just help you to shape your product right and create value but, as you learn about the market, you will find out what mistakes your competitors made in the process, allowing your business to prevent those mistakes. 

Would you like to know more about the reality of a digital product creation? Join our free webinar taking place on Thursday, May 13th at 16:00 CET (15:00 GMT). 

Misconception 3: Design is only done at the beginning of a project

Why is this false?

There is no product development without UX design. It is an absolutely crucial part of the process whether you are building a digital or a physical product. Very often, UX designers are involved in the project from the very beginning depending on the approach you choose. For example, if you want to use a validation method called rapid prototyping, there is no way you can exclude UX design from your work.

We can imagine UX design process in the following steps: 

  1. User research
  2. Design: Wireframing and prototyping
  3. User testing
  4. Implementation 

Just by looking at this process, you can tell that UX designers will be very useful from the early stages to some later phases and all the way to the end of the project. UX designers spend most of their time building wireframes and prototypes as well as testing them. Most UX designers use a feedback loop from the Lean Startup methodology - Build - Measure - Learn. 

This feedback loop gives them new insight very quickly and enables them to incorporate the information gathered into the product (a prototype, most often) in no time. It is crucial for validating hypotheses and therefore UX designers are an integral part of any product development team.     

Misconception 4: This idea is a goldmine! Keep it secret!

Why is this false?

This seems rational, right? Keep your idea a secret so that no one can steal it from you and you can be later rewarded for your genius. Well, it is anyone's call really, but our opinion is that the best thing you can do is to talk about it almost anywhere with anyone who is willing to listen. Talk about it with your friends, family, people you work with, people who could benefit from the idea, people who could help you, people who tried similar things before, but also investors, other entrepreneurs etc. Basically talk to anyone who is willing to give you the gift of their time.  

Why do so? Well, there are many reasons. If nothing else, you can get useful feedback, tips for improvements. Aiming to expose your idea only when it is perfect will just destroy your peace of mind. The best entrepreneurs know that there is no such thing as perfection. However, most importantly, if you seek perfection without sharing your idea, you might be headed towards an ultimate failure. When you finally do expose your idea to the world, you may find that it only appears perfect to you and does not bring any value to your users. 

In exposing your idea to others you can also learn about competitive products that exist or are being built that you didn't know of before. You can also figure out what people really want and what they are excited about or what features would bring them the most value. 

Misconception 5: Disruptors are people with a special gift of creative genius

Why is this false?

Steve Jobs, one of the greatest entrepreneurs and possibly one of the brightest minds of the 20th century, said: “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is, everything around you that you call 'life' was made up by people that were no smarter than you.” Steve Jobs was absolutely right; anyone can build stuff, create products, provide services and run a successful business. 

Creativity is not a special talent granted only to a few chosen ones. It is a skill that can be taught, learned, and developed through time. Dr. Teresa Amabile, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, describes creativity as a result of combining three components - Expertise, Creative thinking skills, and Motivation. 

In our experience, expertise in a field, whether gathered through years of experience or studies, is a key element to any creative problem solving and innovation. Creative thinking skills and motivation are also necessary but, in order to solve problems, it is equally crucial to have a method or a process to follow, which will help and guide you on your way to innovation. We like to use Design thinking, Lean Startup and Agile methodologies to innovate and build great products.       

Would you like to know more about the reality of a digital product creation? Join our free webinar taking place on Thursday, May 13th at 16:00 CET (15:00 GMT). 

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