Innovation Cycle – Evaluate

5 August 2018
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  • From hunter-gatherers and settlers and colonisers to space explorers and social media champions, our human race has travelled quite a distance. A large part of this journey has been possible due to the innovative and inventive abilities of the humans.

    We’ve already seen what the Six Es of Innovation look like, from Epiphany to Empowerment.

    To continue this journey of innovation, one must evaluate, engineer and execute the epiphany. In this article we focus solely on the Evaluate stage.

    Evaluate:

    Any idea needs to be assessed for worthiness, mainly against three factors. Desirability; which focusses on the market, viability; which focusses on the company/individual with the ideas, and feasibility; which focusses on the surrounding ecosystem/infrastructure necessary for the idea to flourish.

    Desirability: With desirability, our focus is outward, towards the market. Some of the questions we try to answer from a desirability perspective are:

    • What problem are we trying to solve and who is/are our target market(s)?
    • What is the existing state of the art and what will make people choose us over it?
    • What functionality will our product have that will make it desirable?
    • How pleasing will it be aesthetically?
    • Are we making this product for the masses (sell by volume) or is it for fewer people (sell by niche)?
    • Where should we price it to keep it affordable and attractive?

    Viability: With viability, our focus is inward, on ourselves and our organisation. Questions that we will aim to answer here include, but are not limited to:

    • Do we have the necessary resources (skilled staff, money, time) for this?
    • If not, how easy is it to find them and is it worth?
    • Following on from desirability, what is the size of our target market?
    • Will selling to this target market generate enough revenue and keep us profitable?
    • What are the risks involved and can we overcome/mitigate them?

    Feasibility: With feasibility, our focus is bi-directional, outwards on the supporting eco-system, and inwards on whether we can create one, if a suitable eco-system doesn’t exist. We aim to answer questions such as:

    • What external resources or capabilities will our product need in order to fulfil its purpose?
    • If supporting infrastructure/eco-system doesn’t exist yet, is our product worthy of creating one?
    • Are we enabled enough to also create the supporting infrastructure?

    Once we are convinced we have a winner here, the next phase is to engineer the proposed product/solution.

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