In the drive to create innovative intellectual property or to provide breakthrough innovation in product management to drive corporate growth, ideas must be accepted and analyzed proactively. Robert Brands, President and founder of Brands & Company notes that, “Ninety-three percent of successful innovations start in the wrong direction and countless more never succeed”. Roy Rosin, Intuit‘s Vice President of Innovation further explains, “In entrepreneurship, most ideas fail, you either scale the wrong thing or you scale in the wrong direction. And it’s hard to predict.”
Brand continues, “With no handy algorithm to identify good ideas, innovative companies have to accept that with every great, useful, idea, there will be many more that fall away. Unused ideas are frequently off-topic, underdeveloped, or poorly timed; however, this doesn’t make them bad”.
How then does a corporation determine what ideas to pursue and which to put on hold for monitoring and which to drop? The first necessary step is to create a separate Front End Innovation process to measure and evaluate new concepts for insertion into the pre-existing formal innovation and technology process. Innovation at the Front End requires detailed analysis from knowledgeable participant stakeholders and external collaborators like iP2Biz to provide objectivity and anonymity to the overall process of measuring commercial feasibility. Specific project teams with relevant ‘know how’ need to be deployed. External technology needs to be unearthed and analyzed while time and cost to market carefully sized to determine the breakthrough value proposition. Furthermore, time to market, technology risk, and key variable drivers need to be assessed. An objective non biased analysis at the Front End will go a long way to separating ideas that turn into executable product innovations from ideas that just are not worth further investment.