Lukas Z's Blog

How to Generate New Product Ideas?

I am reading a business book now. It’s called “Ready, Fire, Aim”, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. But actually it’s pretty good. Especially the part about product ideas.

From the book, here’s the idea on how to successfully launch a product:

Product ideas are safer if they are evolutionary, not revolutionary. When a business invests a lot of money in marketing something, and the market isn’t interested (yet), it’s a big risk.

The better option: Like a surfer on the beach, wait for the wave. And jump on it at the right moment.

Ideally, your product creates a wave that breaks the dam. When the product or product category reaches critical mass and everyone wants some of it.

And how to participate in these market waves? Either by launching a me-too product or by innovating. The first one is easy to do but might be more difficult to market. The latter works by looking at the top products that are currently trending and by changing a thing or two about them. Either by adding some feature or by solving the same problem in a different, new way. Or by being cheaper, or by adding some warranty.. and so forth.

Of course companies like Apple are an example of businesses that innovate against themselves. By making the next iPhone a little bit better than the last one, they are essentially killing the previous iPhone. But by doing that they ensure that no one else does it to them. They keep moving.

Now, by now this is probably all common sense. But I think it’s good to have that metaphor with the wave, the right timing, and the pattern of innovation by looking at the current leaders, in mind.

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