This is why Pretotyping is Part of the Corporate Innovator's Toolkit

Innovation is a crucial component in the ongoing success of any business. A PwC survey reveals that 97% of CEOs agree that innovation is a top priority, but no fewer than 94% of them are unhappy with their current innovation programs. This naturally leads to the assumption that something must be very wrong in the world of innovation.

That sounds like a problem to be solved, and problems are what innovation is all about.

What is Pretotyping and how can it help solve the issue which the vast majority of CEO's are experiencing in relation to innovation? What can Pretotyping add to the innovator's toolkit?

At its heart, Pretotyping is a set of tools, techniques and tactics which are designed to help validate new ideas for new products quickly and accurately. 

The ultimate goal of Pretotyping is to cut to the chase…to avoid time-wasting and ensure that you're exploring and planning the right idea before you execute the wrong one and fail.

What does that mean? How can Pretotyping improve innovation processes and how can one know what the right idea is before it's been tried and tested?

The strategies as laid out by Alberto Savoia in The Right It have been designed to improve the process of innovation and maximise the chances of success. 

  1. Obey the Law of Market Failure.

  2. Make sure you are building The Right It.

  3. Don't get lost in Thoughtland.

  4. Trust only in Your Own Data (YODA).

  5. Pretotype It.

  6. Say it with numbers.

  7. Think global, test local.

Looking at Pretotyping as part of the corporate innovators' toolkit, what can be gained from the first few on this list?

Obeying the law of market failure: This makes pretty grim reading at first…the law of market failure is as follows. 

"Most new ideas will fail in the market, even if competently executed." - Alberto Savoia

Doesn't sound very hopeful for most people does it? But it's true…even the most successful enterprises regularly launch new products which end up dead in the water. 

Take Google's Mr Jingles…have you even heard of that? Whether you have or not, it's one of a long list of Google's failed products, launched in 2015 and scheduled to end in 2019. 

If Google doesn't always get it right, there's no shame in accepting that failure is part of the business of innovation…but we have to ask why

Why do most new businesses or innovations fail? 

There are 3 main reasons.

  • Marketing failure

  • Poor product

  • Poor premise

The last reason, poor premise is the most common reason for failure. The product is not relevant, the audience doesn't care for it …it's not The Right It.

What is The Right It and how can we be certain we're building The Right It?

The Right It:  If we assume that most innovators know what they're doing when they begin developing ideas, then we can also assume that they're building something that works. 

So if we're confident that it works, then what makes something the Right It or the Wrong It? 

The Right It is defined as "An idea that, if competently executed, will succeed in the right market." 

The Wrong It is, "An idea that even if competently executed will fail in the market." 

Examples of the Wrong It are to be found in every industry. Ideas which seemed to offer all that was needed for success but which failed for their own reasons. Either the market wasn't ready for it, people didn't like it or there was no real need for it. The Wrong It will fail 100% no matter how well executed.

So how can corporate innovators use this information to know for sure if they're pursuing The Right It?

Don't get lost in Thoughtland: Thoughtland is that grey area of innovation where all that's on offer are opinions and thoughts…or ideas. It's a nice place to hang out in many ways. You can dream big, get your ego massaged by those who are in agreement with your concepts and when you come up with a great idea on paper, the instinct is to discuss, to share and garner opinion. That's part and parcel of innovation, right? 

To a point.

When it comes to working out if a product is viable…if it's The Right It, then opinions are not helpful in the slightest. 

The problem with opinion

Opinion is just that. It's subjective, biased, variable and changeable; it's worth nothing in terms of usable data.

 It's the same with using research from other people's projects…or OPD (other people's data)…completely useless. OPD is data collected by other people, for other projects, at other times in other places and with other techniques. It's dangerous. You may see a similar idea to your own which has failed but you can't trust that data…because it's not your own data or YODA.

What is YODA? 

It's data which you have collected yourself, for your own idea and first-hand and with that data comes something called 'skin in the game'. Skin in the game represents what you're risking…your time, money, reputation.

To work out if an idea is viable, you need more than your own skin in the game. More than your team's skin in the game. You need investment in the form of trust…you need other parties to put something at risk because they have faith in that idea.

If you can sell it before it's been made…then it's going to work. It's the Right It. 

How does that happen? How can anyone sell an idea before it's been fully developed into an actual product? 

Exponentially provides all of the answers to that question and more.

The tools, techniques and tactics needed to ensure your corporate innovation program pushes through to the next level are all part of what we offer.

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