This You Tube video is awesome, and serves as such a great reminder that failure is inevitable, and must be embraced rather than feared … particularly in the innovation space.
According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, there are over 30,000 new products introduced every year, and 95% fail.
According to University of Toronto Professor Inez Blackburn, the failure rate of new grocery store products is 70 to 80%.
So how do you improve your odds?
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
1. Solve real problems.
All innovation is a result of solving fundamental problems. The most successful product designers like those at IDEO follow people around and watch how they perform basic tasks like brushing their teeth. Failure is inevitable!
Study the buyers carefully and how they actually use a product.
2. Nail down the key assumptions from the beginning.
Many product launches don’t work because decisions are made at the last minute. This is because key assumptions about the product are often flawed, and not challenged until it’s too late.
3. Put ALL stakeholders around the table.
It is critical to have the right stakeholders’ input from the beginning. Everyone must be present at the inception of the project in order to gain their insights, concerns, and approval.
4. Launch timing.
Do not rush to release too many products at the same time. It dilutes the quality of the new products and product launches. Customers can only absorb so many products at the same time. And, you end up giving yourself less time to evaluate the success of products and what tweaks may be needed.
Final thoughts …the most innovative companies fail more often than they succeed. Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft — companies widely regarded as the most innovative companies in the world — have had more failures than successes, more misses than hits. But the most innovative companies have a culture where they learn from failure.