5 Things to Remember for Real Innovation

During the second phase of the Bio Asia Devthon, we had some great speakers and mentors who helped participants delve into the design thinking process. Speakers included Dheeraj Batra, from DLabs, Indian School of Business, Honey Bajaj of Dr. Reddy’s Labs and Dhruv from L V Prasad Innovation Centre.

The following 5 points are a mix of what we heard from all these speakers, who are innovators in their own right.

1. Always solve a problem

Most startups make the mistake of coming up with a technological solution to a non-existent problem. However, the first step to real innovation always has to be the identification of a real world problem statement. There would be no innovation if there was no need in first place.

2. Do not jump from problem to solution

While it might seem simple and easy to go from problem to the solution that you think is the best, it is never advisable to do that. Instead, you need to spend time validating the problem. You need to understand why the problem exists, and who are the people that are affected by it. This will help you further funnel into what could be the solution.

While Honey Bajaj talked to us about how her team came up with low-cost baby warmers, she specified that they started with the problem statement of the high rates of infant mortality in India. In course of their research, where they moved step by step, they realized that a lot of low weight babies die in transit from home to hospital because there was no means of keeping them warm. Thus, they spent months and months trying to break the problem down before thinking about a solution.

3. Never let go

The life cycle of a new product does not end with an idea. From the time you start building a prototype, to the time you can bring a line of products out for usage, there will be several roadblocks. The roadblocks could be technological, or administrative in nature. For instance, the entire lifecycle of Embrace Baby Warmers starting from prototype to the final product being patented and approved for usage were 4 years in all. So, the key to keep going is to remember never to let go.

4. Think out of the box. Think what if…

Always think crazy ideas. It might seem like the most implausible thing, however it need not be impossible. Somebody really thought what if drones could deliver medicines and it is reality now.

5. Think Feasibility, Viability and Desirability

IDEO describes design thinking as bringing together what is desirable from the human point of view that which is technologically feasible and economically viable. So, keep this in mind while brainstorming.

Do you have a sixth point that we should add to the list here? Add on in the comments section.

Image Courtesy: blog.mindjet.com

Originally Posted on January 29, 2015

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