21 Predictions for 2021

https://everythingbrilliant.co.uk/elementor-6014

Salt. A lesson in Innovation through Differentiation

https://everythingbrilliant.co.uk/salt-a-lesson-in-innovation-through-differentiation

Salt is salt, right? It’s possibly the oldest commodity on earth and surely, it’s one of the most abundant minerals. Can we really differentiate such a simple product?

In a previous post I suggested that far from ‘needing’ a brand spanking new idea for a ‘thing’ or service, you actually only need an idea for something that already exists out there in the marketplace, but innovate to make it faster, better, cheaper.

There’s no better example of how we can differentiate a simple product by adding value than salt.

Yep, common old salt. If you thought salt is salt, nothing is further from the truth. Check out the cost per kg from this infographic. You can buy salt from 39p per kg or….nearly £50!

Incredible, isn’t it.

So, if you could start a business, how would you be the £50/kg offer? How do you add that much value to the user experience that people forget that it’s ‘only bloody salt’.

Of course, that’s the role of innovators: to find new, seemingly irresistible value from the mundane.

Choose a product or service — anything as replay the salt infographic;
– can you create value from the (hint of) providence (like the ‘spice cellar sea salt)
– can you make it better / less bad (like the reduced sodium salt)
– can we make it seem much better value / more convenient (like the large Cornish sea salt)
– can we borrow someone else’s value (like the Nandos salt)
– can we change the UX (like the grinder salt)

You don’t NEED a shiny new idea to start a business

https://everythingbrilliant.co.uk/you-dont-need-a-new-idea-to-start-a-business

I’ve heard this so many times, “I’d love to start a business, but I can never think of the idea of what I would do”.

You may have thought exactly that?

It IS a myth that you need something new. It’s born (quite understandable) of an anxiety that, “well, if there’s already someone doing this, how will I manage to break into it?”

Shock horror: Apple are (rightly) seen as one of the most innovative companies ever, but they certainly didn’t invent the touchscreen smartphone.

Google didn’t invent the search engine.

Amazon weren’t the first people to sell books online.

….I really could go on and on.

Of course, there’s loads of examples of ‘firsts’ that made it big…but they really are unicorns (very rare…that’s why they’re known as unicorns).

Recycling of ideas has happened since the beginning of time and always will: the Harry Potter books are the highest grossing book series. Harry was an orphan with special powers. Luke Skywalker…an orphan with special powers…you can go back centuries to find stories about orphans with special powers – to the Bible and beyond- Moses was (you guessed it) an orphan with special powers.

So, you ABSOLUTELY DON’T need a brand new idea. Indeed, the idea doesn’t need to be the ‘thing’ or service. The idea can be the way you’ll EXECUTE ‘it’ that adds more value than your competitors!

You could literally take a Yellow Pages or any business directory (if you still have one), fan through the pages, pick a business and figure out how to make it better, cheaper, faster.

I’ll go one step further, while a brand new product or service won’t have any competitors, it has no customers! A marketplace with no customers is a lonely place. Now, it might be because, genuinely, it’s a brand new idea and it solves a problem everyone has that no-one has ever spotted before…..but I wouldn’t bet on it. Not in 2020.

So, now we’ve got that out of the way, over the course of the next 2 weeks, if you sign-up for the free coaching experience, I’ll walk you through how to find the brilliant idea that will change your life.

It is totally free. It will be totally amazing.

And there will be lots of opportunity to talk with me and get all your questions answered!

Book some time with me now.

I’m waiting for you on the other side.

2 Lessons from a Cancer Survivor

https://everythingbrilliant.co.uk/lessons-from-a-cancer-survivor

I had the absolute privilege to spend about an hour chatting with someone who has spent the last five months fighting and winning a battle against (what was originally a terminal) cancer diagnosis.

Take-aways:


1. Pain. Humans can endure more emotional and physical pain than you can imagine. If you’re holding back doing something because you think it will be too hard, have a word with yourself

2. Time. The difference for this chap a month before and just after his diagnosis wasn’t that he was going to die – we’re all going to die, it was that a Doctor gave him an approximate end date which was way, way, way before he was ready. If you want to change / stop / start something, don’t wait until after Christmas / covid / we’ve lost a stone / the kids have left home / the mortgage is paid / retirement. Don’t wait. Crack on.

The war isn’t quite over for him, there’s another battle to fight starting just after Christmas. Fight on Michael.

Quirky.com is back!


Quirky.com was launched in 2009 with a mission to make invention accessible to everyone. You could share your ideas with a community of over a million people and get involved in bringing the best ideas to market. They started hundreds of thousands of idea projects through the community, launched hundreds of products and paid over $10m in payments to the Community. BUT, they were working their way through $80m of Venture Capitol funding at a terrific rate

They also launched Partnerships with the likes of GE which also gave them a cash injection of $30m . To me, they were pioneers in Crowd-based innovation Management but when they closed their doors in 2015 it was a huge shame. 

BUT, they’re back. They’ve re-invented themselves

Essentially, Quirky has decided to partner with open-innovation friendly companies that have the capacity to get to market and thrive there – essentially licensing as a business model. 

Quirky will apparently take anywhere from a 5 percent to 10 percent cut when an invention is being sold directly to consumers and the inventor will earn a 3 percent royalty. When a third-party retailer sells the product, the inventor will earn 1.5 percent. This information is clearly stated on the company’s FAQ page.

While 1.5-3% doesn’t sound much, the inventors don’t need to spend a dollar, ever, to start making money off of their inventions.

 

Now this is an idea. China aims to rate its 1.3 billion residents


The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents

They are calling it a Social Credit System. They will seemingly do this by monitoring and evaluating your daily activities; what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not).

That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.

It’s both brilliant and terrifying.

More on this story on this link.

Data From 3.5 Million Employees Shows How Innovation Really Works


This is new research from Harvard Business Review is worth a read. They analysed millions of employees of users of an innovation management platform called Spigit. If you only have 60 seconds, here are the take-aways;

  1. Scale – more participants. To succeed, an innovation program needs lots of participants. It’s the wisdom of the crowd: a large mass of participants will always out-ideate a small group of smart people. On average, companies generate one idea for every four participants in the system.
  2. Frequency – more ideas. To get to a set of promising ideas whose implementation would make sense, you need to sift through a lot of candidates. To succeed, a company needs to create frequent idea challenges for its employees. These challenges reinforce a culture of innovation and generate more ideas going into the pipeline. While there is a great deal of variation based on the types of ideas and the companies reviewing them, on average, it takes five idea candidates to generate one idea that the company judges to be worth implementing.
  3. Engagement – more people evaluating ideas. It’s not enough to get some people suggesting ideas. You need lots of other people figuring out whether those ideas are worth working on, or what it will take for them to become better. A successful idea management system is a ferment of commentary, with lots of feedback.
  4. Diversity – more kinds of people contributing. You might think the most productive innovation system would be full of engineers or other problem-solvers. You’d be wrong. A successful system needs contributions from all over the organization, especially staff who are close to the front lines: sales staff, support workers, or people in close touch with the company’s manufacturing processes, for example.

Again, well worth a read. For more information on the software platform that they studied the users of, click here.

The reluctant innovator


I was working on a project recently and helping out with a roadshow at one of their sites. They were actively looking for ideas from employees. One chap came up to me and promptly told me his idea. Of course I said, “great idea, put it in the system” to which he replied, “nah, you put it in there for me”.

Of the thousands of people that work for this company 90+% of them will never admit to having an idea. Here’s one that had one, waiting for an opportunity to share with someone, but he chose not to share it (with anyone other than me). Why would that be?

It prompted quite some debate internally but I resolved to never understanding why he wouldn’t give it up, and in doing so get some credit for it.

Then, out of the blue, just as the idea collection campaign was closing, I noticed that same idea. So whatever the barriers were, he lowered them himself and put it in.

I had to track him down and ask him why it took him 3 weeks!

Eventually I caught up with him. The reason: his manager pestered and pestered so he put the idea in just to (his words) “get her off my back”.

Then another idea popped in from him. Then another, and this one WAS a brilliant idea. In-fact that one was perhaps one of the best ideas. It was to make every button in the home essentially a panic button.

The vital question is; would we have got that killer idea if we hadn’t have had the 2 or 3 average ideas?

I don’t believe so. I honestly don’t think that he held back giving me the average idea because he knew it was average.

The lesson, if there is one, is to work as hard as you need to in order to flip people from being someone that won’t share their ideas to someone that will. THEN (and only then) might we get the killer idea.