Why rapid innovation matters… now!

Is design speed something secondary compared to design elegance or  to great customer experience?

Contemporaneous innovation leaves you no choice: it requires both, and speed is surely not to be neglected to engage the market, keep your brand powerful, and make a success of your innovation portfolio.

Having a “rapid innovation” engine is a must-have in a competitive globalized market.

  • Competitors come from the other end of the world and from other industry whose development cycles might be shorter than yours: you have to react fast.
  • Rapid innovation may offer you the possibility to explore new territories to enter a new business because your speed will be a competitive advantage over incumbents.
  • Customers are difficult to seduce : innovation is key to differentiate, and it has to be completed fast because it quickly becomes obsolete. Speed is an asset when it comes to take over the market space, for instance by presenting new products on a regular basis, twice a year as Apple innovation team does during its famous keynote shows.

But rapid innovation also matters because of more intrinsic reasons:

  • Rapid innovation means creative tension which is the DNA of innovation. Narrowing the scope and setting challenging goals actually help the innovation team. At Google innovation team they say: “The faster we are, the better we become: speed is an essential part of the innovation process; one must compell to short dead lines, to create rapidly. One might say: we could have done better, should we have had more time… but we might also not have gone the whole hog“.
  • Rapid innovation is also necessary to iterate quickly, since the second version is often the right one!
  • Furthermore, talking about cocreation, its intelligent agents and lasting sensors are to fuel continuously the innovation operating system. The ability to perform fast is unquestionable when you have to handle simultanously innovative design while capturing people usage, building evolving prototypes, questioning the initial intent, and connecting again with the user to reveal the “magic”, all this concurrent activities in a kind of “rugby approach“.
  • Rapid innovation sustains Open innovation when it comes to set-up partnerships, to “connect and develop” with agile entities selected from the innovation market, bringing their know-how, and their vitality from the outside world.

Being fast doesn’t man you have to be the first mover. Sometimes being first is not the way to get the most benefit of an innovation: Apple iPod was not the first portable music player, though it managed to be the leader on this market. Not being the first mover doesn’t mean you don’t want to be a fast follower, and there you need speed to deliver.

It’s designing a product that produces the best effect that matters, and creating the most lasting impact will definitely benefit from being able to design in short cycles. You’d better start set-up your “rapid innovation” team!


One response to “Why rapid innovation matters… now!

  1. Pingback: “Strong innovation with a broad impact” by Marc Giget, CEO of European Innovation Institute (2/2) | Rapid innovation in digital time

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