Can Innovative Ideas Cause Trouble For Startups?

Toomaj F. Bungs
Girls using VR

Revolutionary and innovative ideas can dramatically increase your startup’s chances of success. However, the fact is that this is not always the case! Their excessively creative ideas can be a reason for a startup to fail.

Today I will be talking about the innovation trap and tell you how to tame unbridled innovations to enter the market. Before we start, first I recommend you read the previous article “Revolutionary Ideas Are Not Necessarily a Reason For Success” or watch “Startup Ideas: When, Where and How To Enter The Market” on ARDOXSO’s Youtube Channel.

Now, it’s a long time that everyone is aware of the direct impact of technology on businesses. Technology can strengthen one industry and destroy another. For example, before the Internet and e-mail became widespread and popular, we all used the postal industry to send our letters. The Internet and e-mail have outdone the postal and transportation industry.

As another example, smartphones have strongly influenced the camera market. On the other hand, the Internet and smartphones themselves became the reason for the emergence of a new market and other markets. In this respect, however, there were innovations that could never convince consumers to change their behavior.

What do you think about 3D movies? When was the last time you watched a 3D movie? The idea of the 3D films was revolutionary, but even that does not make an innovation a success. Even your most specific product will not succeed unless most consumers are willing to accept change and start a new behavior. It might be interesting to know that 3D movies were not released in 2009 with Avatar but long before that. For example, the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a 3D film, but the history of 3D cinema goes back much further. The first 3D movie was called The Power of Love. The film was released to the public in 1922. 3D cinema has been around since 1915, and various inventors have been working on it since 1890!

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3D films certainly did not have a chance of success in the late 18th and even 19th centuries. However, technology was not prevalent, urbanization and industrialization were not as widespread as they are today, and neither the film industry nor the people had enough money to afford luxury. Nevertheless, the late 20th century and the present century was a good time to judge the idea of 3D cinema. Now the technology had reached the point where it could provide the groundwork, the film industry had become a real industry, and people had enough money to buy special equipment. Let me ask the question I asked before: When was the last time you watched a 3D movie?

While the prevalence of technology, on the one hand, made it possible for almost anyone to watch a 3D film at least once, it was, on the other hand, a reason for us to find that the majority people are not willing to change their current behavior. This could be because we still have to wear special glasses to watch a 3D movie or it could be a headache or whatever. Nevertheless, it took us two centuries to realize that 3D cinema was not as appealing to audiences as it seemed.

Everett Rogers is known for his model for The Diffusion of Innovations. He divides consumers into five main categories:

– innovators, who make up only 2.5%.
– early-adopters who are 13.5%.
– early majority and late majority who are 34% each
– and laggards, who are 16%.

The Diffusion of Innovations
The Diffusion of Innovations (Figure Created by LEAD)

If a new innovation is accepted by the Early Majority and Late Majority, it means that the change of consumer behavior is in the process of formation and a new revolution is on its way. Still, what matters is that this majority is not influenced by innovators and early adopters, but by laggards. Only when the laggards were willing to switch to digital cameras instead of analog cameras the majority were convinced that digital cameras were better than analog cameras!

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Needs, Wants & Demands are of the fundamental concepts of marketing. The need is the same for everyone, regardless of culture, age, gender, and the like. For example, everyone needs shelter. But wants vary from person to person. One suffices to small dreams and the other has bigger dreams for himself. Similarly, one wants to live in an apartment and another wants to live in a palace. Demands, however, depend on the circumstances. One may wish to live in a palace, but he may suffice to a 40-meter apartment in the city center based on his budget.

Keep in mind; no one can create a new need for the consumer! These needs are pre-defined and rooted in our biological nature. Interestingly, these needs are common to most other animals. But there are always hidden needs which, if identified correctly and in a timely manner, can make a significant and even revolutionary change in your industry.

3D cinema is neither a need nor even a hidden need. The telephone was a need and the cell phone a hidden need. E-mail was a hidden need. Either the 3D cinema, e-mail, telephone, or mobile phone, came up with revolutionary and innovative ideas, but not all of them could make a difference and change consumers’ behavior.

Inasmuch as you think innovatively about creating a new product, you should have an innovative marketing approach. Do not forget that it is the consumer mindset that judges the future of your business, not what you think!

Toomaj F. Bungs

Toomaj is a marketing consultant, scholar, and entrepreneur who has been encouraged by many other experts & academics in four continents. He is a founding partner and the CMO of ARDOXSO.

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