I’ve been having a series of discussions around innovation and whether it is a key to success in the Software Products space.  The more and more I discuss around it and get to hear people speak about innovation, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is no central theme that defines what is innovation. I thought, I will make an attempt to define what it is and its significance from a Software Vendors perspective.

To set the context right, let us define what is product innovation. It is bringing to life of something new that will help solve the customer’s problems and that which will benefit the customer as well as the vendor. To go further and explain what it is:

  • Product innovation will mean different things to different people.
  • Product innovation for a vendor can be a process innovation for the end-user
  • Product innovation is a crowd sport and is not just the brainchild of an individual
  • Product innovation can be equated with both art as well as science. Anything radical can be viewed as art and everything incremental can be viewed as science.
  • Innovation is typically represented as a series of steps starting with ideation, user research, experimental development and prototype design. There seems to be a message in these steps and it relates more towards science than art. This will allow for innovating consistently, though I am not sure as to how easy or difficult it would be to ideate.  
  • The best way to innovate in my mind would be to look for ways and means by which you can help your customers solve their problems efficiently. Doing this, it is only natural for one to stumble on innovations consistently.
  • The other way of looking at innovation can be – don’t do business plans; don’t estimate costs; don’t do cash flow; don’t do a presentation; just get busy, and probably this has more probabilities of resulting in what solves your customer problems.