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Innovation: Do Me A Pet Rock Please

Pet Rock

All Innovations Great And Small

When people hear the word ‘innovation’ they tend to think of the newest iPhone or Elon Musk’s latest game-changing inventions. But innovation is both much more and much less than that. Much more, in that it does not limit itself to technological advances, but in the broadest sense means “something original and more effective” – which can be encompass almost anything.

Much less, in that even the most simple of products or services – or even a tiny difference in HOW you work – can affect great change.

Think, for instance, of the life-saving iodine Bindi dot, that has been providing much-needed doses of iodine to Indian women in a simple, yet stylish way. Or the slip-on pour spout, making cooking and baking spills a thing of the past.

Slip-on Pour Spout

A truly great innovation will leave you wondering how you didn’t think of it first, it seems so obvious in hindsight (hello Über, hello AirBnB).

Innovation So Surprising

Of course, there are some innovation successes that you’d be hard-pushed to predict.

Take for instance, the Pet Rock. Back in the 1970’s, a guy called Gary Dahl came up with the idea of selling rocks as pets. Incredibly, not only did he pursue this rather bizarre idea, it ended up being a runaway success. He sold 1.5 million pet rocks at the price of $4 each and became a very rich man.  Even more incredibly, a quick search on Amazon reveals that this product still retails, now for the bargain price of just $12.50.

Or Doggles, a company that creates eye protection designed just for dogs. Yes, goggles for dogs. Somewhat bafflingly, it has generated millions of dollars in sales.

Doggles

The moral of the story is that a) no idea is too simple –or too stupid, seemingly– and that b), there are always surprises when it comes to innovation. However, with 9 out of 10 innovations destined to fail, it pays to do your homework and ask those tough questions up front. Without proper research, you are much more likely to end up with a ‘new Coke’ than a ‘Pet Rock’.

Want to make sure your new product, brand or service becomes the 1 in 10?
We can help. Get in touch with us on email (nik@beaf.com) or call us on 01242 715 483.

Or have a look and see how we’ve helped other clients find their slip-on-pour-spout.