With a population of around 84,000, the BC tech industry is now larger than the mining, forestry, and oil and gas industries combined (source) in the province. With tech booming, it’s no wonder when you consider that upgrading your internal technology is the best way to improve overall efficiency. Just imagine doing anything today without email or the internet? Many can since it’s only in the last 2 decades that the online world has become omnipresent. Given that time scale, what do you think the next decade or so will bring? I’m not sure, although I’m sure Google has something in mind, but one thing I can tell you is it’ll come from innovation.
6 Important Insights into Innovation
Diversity Is Key
It might seem counter-intuitive, but selling to the same type of customers over and over again is a great way to avoid innovation. There are always new markets out there, and focusing on one small niche or type creates the perfect conditions to kill any need to try something new.
Now, I’m not advocating you ignore your regular customers; that would be stupid. Rather, once established, look for new challenges. You can also find out if your customers’ goals have changed for the New Year, or you can find better ways to achieve them. Whether it’s rolling out another service or expanding your product line to fulfill your customers’ needs, new horizons will naturally force you to try out new systems and strategies.
Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
Keep in mind that innovation can come from anywhere and anyone. Encourage your staff to pitch ideas and listen to problem areas, you’ll be surprised to see ideas come from the unlikeliest corners.
You could even make a day out of it. Google famously has the 20 percent rule, where employees can spend up to 20 percent of their week on personal projects for the company.
In The End, It’s All About Your Customers
If your customers are not happy with the products and services you offer, it does not matter how innovative you say you are.
Keep them at the centre of all decisions and build your business towards their satisfaction. Not only will they reward you with loyalty, but it’s also a good guideline when looking to innovate, as you have a built-in audience willing to test your products for you.
Be Ten Times Better
Stop thinking in small increments, a one percent growth is okay but it’s not great. The cliché is, “think big or go home,” and there’s some truth to it. If you keep on aiming for easy attainable goals, then you’ll never get the chance to push yourself. Instead, push yourself beyond what you think is attainable.
It’s Impossible to Be Perfect
There is a point at which striving to create the perfect product or service isn’t going to improve it. A mantra in the software development world is ship and iterate. In a nutshell, you create the product and then release it as soon as possible. You then get feedback from users and improve upon it.
This simple feedback loop is vital for innovation. Not only do you get your product to market faster (thus more revenue), but you also have an audience willing to perform quality control on it.
Now, like the first point, this does not mean you should neglect anything. Instead, determine the point at which a new product or service can deliver, and then get it out quickly. Rushing to market is vastly different than having a core product or service from which you can improve on over time.
Be a Proud Failure
If there’s one big lesson we’ve all learned about innovating is that you can’t be afraid to fail. You are trying something new, and no one in the world is good at anything the first time they try it. Mistakes will be made, and what differentiates those who eventually succeed is the willingness to learn from them.
So what do you think? What will the future of tech look like? And how do you plan on innovating this year? If you’re curious to see exactly what can be done online, here’s a good resource on digital marketing to get you started, or contact us if you’d like to discuss more concrete ways to streamline and grow your business this year.