Today with the digital transition, we see a lot of new businesses appearing, reshuffling existing value chains or creating totally new markets. We dare more, letting aside the freezing fear of failure, and we launch new products at an increasing pace. As a result, lots of companies are re-building technologies and tools that already exist somewhere else, losing time and money in the process, in a world where quick execution and first mover role play a key role in success.
In this first article, I’ll explain my vision on why we should use existing technologies and tools to better and faster innovate.
Use existing technologies and tools
We are in a period where more and more people are interested in launching their own businesses. We are also in a period where technologies and especially computer sciences are everywhere.
When you have a new idea, there is probably someone else in the world with the same idea.
The important things are the execution, the problem you solve and the access to customers.
The faster you go to the market, the faster you’ll get feedback from the users, and the faster you’ll be able to improve your product to meet the actual needs of these end-users. I strongly believe that today innovation does not only consist in building new technologies but also in regrouping and using differently technologies as they exist today.
As an example all the trend nowadays with food delivery exploits existing technologies. Online payment, online menus, food delivery, bikes and other transportation capabilities, etc., all exist since quite some time. The novelty comes from the combination: taken together, these technologies can provide a better, faster and more efficient service to the customers, while also opening new opportunities for restaurants. The business idea did not rely in creating a new technology but in pushing to the market a new solution to solve the problem of quickly delivering great food to customers.
Using tools/technologies allow you to create bigger products, better solutions without spending too much time on R&D. Time is a very important asset as you only have a small time window to launch your product otherwise somebody else will take your spot: even with a great product, who could now try to compete with Uber or Lyft on car transport services with chauffeurs?
Here’s the key lesson learnt: in many cases, you can do great products, great innovation, test your market and get your users feedbacks by almost only assembling existing technologies in a new way. When the market is validated and once you’ve found the perfect way to solve a problem, then you can think about the technologies to optimize it.
Have a good product is not enough per se for having a sustainable business model. You need to permanently improve and modify your product to meet users’ expectations and you must be able to create a global ecosystem that matters to the clients.
Alone we go faster, together we go further
To summarize, this quote is so relevant: “Alone we go faster, together we go further”. I would say that we should not be afraid to work with other companies to make a bigger product and to innovate together. An idea is worthless without the execution, the team, the clients… So don’t hesitate to talk with others, to use existing technologies or existing tools.
It is much more pleasant to work on the strategy, the business, the solution you come with to solve a problem than to build your emails system, your payment system, your hammers, your nails…