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Innovators Need To Be Careful With Innovation Blockers

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The Innovators have the Success as its ultimate goal where failing is not an option. However, everyone knows (even the Innovators) that success is a mirage.. very hard to achieve due to the risks and costs. BUT worst is when beside the normal business challenges we find or are in an Innovation Blocker..

They are blockers.. they killed and will kill a lot of new and great innovations, and new projects with high potential! Some of the follow Innovation Blocker are well known, other maybe you never thought about them as a Blocker.

Note: The following order doesn't have any meaning!

(1) You - the client, the consumer!

The market or the client is sovereign is an old saying with a lot of true… But they often don't know what they need.. For an innumerous number of reasons, that can be social, cultural, regional.. Or more simple like do not know what the reason for that innovation, the purpose or how to use..

And sometimes the client has alternatives ways and the innovation does not solve a problem.

Saying that, Henry Ford has a sentence that I love and show a lot - "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." - and we were right! But he managed to get the message across and create the need and the market.

(2) Media

The Media and Social networks can help a lot the innovators and their creation and change completely their lives, or killing them in minutes… And we have a lot of examples!

One particular example that I have in mind regarding this topic is the autonomous cars, where we have companies working on that, investing a lot, and for sure are disruptive innovations that will be mainstream in few years.. And that is GREAT!!

BUT if they have an accident, immediately they will have a lot of news regarding that, a lot of criticism, project questioned by the media and temporally put on hold.. HOWEVER, there are a lot of non-autonomous car accidents every day, with constant and repeated errors!

So, that means that one error can undermine a whole view and errors pay dearly in innovation.

We know that sometimes is a communication strategy in order to protect the company and its brands. However, in social and media, the errors in disruptive technologies are much more impolite and criticized.

(3) BIG Corporations

Besides the old conservative executives that are not open to innovation, new ideas from their teams neither from external entities. They are mostly focused on their daily routine, problems and they cannot think in a long term strategy or out-of-box in order to improve their business, keeping advantage vs their competitors and keeping their business alive.

HOWEVER some want to innovate, create or use disruptive innovation to increase the value of their business, but they are slow.. very slow.. with a lot of processes and when they want to turn it public are not more innovative and doesn't have the market impact as expected.

In order hand for startups that want to work with these companies, the cycle business time is too long to survive! And sometimes they also have investors that do not understand the complexity to enter those companies.

BUT sometimes we have also Big Companies that beside could not create innovation, want to block new initiatives that can mess in their business's.. OR sometimes prefer creating similar solutions in-house.

(4) Associations

Another Innovation Blocker is some interest groups or associations with huge power or influence in their associates usually are not open to see external entities to bring new innovations for their business.

They work as a big corporation but with the advantage to have control of their clients - that are the associates - so they have a monopoly that they do not to lose.. And all the "innovations" are made or controlled by them.

(5) Lawmakers

Due to old laws that don't allow innovations to be on the market in a freeway Or regulators and their regulations with very complex processes to get licenses and their costs that we can say that they are not very innovators friendly.

And if is not from old laws can be for new ones created to "protect" the market and its current players.. blocking the entering of new players or allow it in a very limited and controlled way!

Nevertheless, sometimes the innovators want to innovate the Government models & systems and that is a completely different complexity.. Because first they think from inside-to-outside and after that, we have one thing like: public procurement processes.

Those are the main innovation blockers that we have.. However of course the innovators and their innovation have other blockers or challenges like tech, money, teams, etc… But that we can consider it as "fair one's".!?

However the blockers are not indestructible and when they fall (because they will) the innovation will survive because, if is not with an innovation A will be with the B and if is not today will be tomorrow.. and the innovators will find the right tools for success!!


Never forget!
"If it was easy everyone could do it"
And "the limits are in our heads"

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Posted by Orlando Ribas Fernandes - Founder and CEO at XnFinity - XNFY Lab
During the last years, I worked in innovation and for innovation with the ambition to create solutions that could change paradigms and create unique value on the market.
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