A Guide: Taking an Innovative Idea to Market

Over the last few months I have been blogging about the lessons I have learned about taking an innovative idea, building a product from it, and taking it to the market. These lessons were learned by my team and I as we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into our own product over the last few years.

As I wrote these blogs there was always an underlying theme and intent. But for the most part the posts were not any logical order. My goal for this post is to create that order.

So here is the official Josh Dragon guide to taking an innovative idea to market.

A quick disclaimer. There are a whole bunch of people out there who have years and years of experience in this subject matter. Many of them have some really tremendous blogs (see my blog role to the right). I encourage you to seek these individuals out and learn what they have to say. My goal is to simply make a small contribution to the topic of innovation and hopefully help you in your own journey.

So here are the 7 lessons I have learned about managing innovation efforts for companies looking to expand their product range. For those true entrepreneurs out there doing it on their own, my hat’s off to you.

Lesson 1: Manage yourself first

If you have been given the opportunity to champion an innovation effort, get ready to stretch. There is nothing else in life that forces you to grow like stepping off into the unknown.

Before you do, make sure you have a few of the essential survival tools you will need. Here are my top five blogs on how to manage yourself:

  1. Why Failure Is An Option
  2. Engaging Fear
  3. Developing High Value Relationships
  4. Leaders: Don’t Aspire To Be Lazy
  5. A Decision Matrix For Time Management

Lesson 2: Get your company to focus on innovation

innovationCompanies are either growing or dying. Simply maintaining the status quo is just another form of a business dying. Because while you are maintaining, someone else is innovating.

Most of my posts touch on innovation in one way or another. Here are two solely focused on innovation:

  1. All Companies Should Be Centered Around Innovation
  2. Capturing Innovative Ideas

Lesson 3: Get the products design right

I am an engineer at my core. To me, engineering is about designing and building products that blow your customers’ expectations out of the water. Here are a few posts about how to do that:

  1. Simpler Is Always Better
  2. Is It More Important How You Make The Burger, Or What You Make It With?
  3. The Relationship Between A Products Price & Its Quality
  4. Standardization & The Impact It Can Have On Products
  5. Variation & The Impact It Can Have On Products

Lesson 4: Build good systems to create a revenue machine

Systems Development Cycle

Systems Development Cycle

This is another outlet for my inner engineer. Building systems is all about understanding your workflow, mapping that flow, and then finding ways to constantly improve it. When your product takes off, these systems will be the key to scaling up your operations quickly.

  1. The Need For Start-Ups To Be Agile
  2. Mapping Work Flows – The Foundation Of Continuous Process Improvement
  3. The Systems Development Cycle
  4. Creating Training Programs To Scale Up Your Operations

Lesson 5: Your only as good as your team

TeamMost ideas start with one person or maybe a few people. But to make that idea become a reality, you need a lot of people. You need an incredible team. Here are 7 posts about how to create that team:

  1. Building Great Teams
  2. Give Your Team The Power So You Can Win
  3. Teach Your Team To Succeed Every Day
  4. How To Earn Your Teams Trust
  5. I Believe That You And Your Team Can Accomplish Anything
  6. Why You Should Impress Your Team
  7. What Mud & Teams Have In Common

Lesson 6: If your team is going to succeed, you have to be a great leader

Once you build the team, you then have to lead it. I believe this piece is absolutely critical to succeeding with an innovation venture. It requires a commitment to serving the team, staying humble, and always seeking to become a better leader. I am learning more and more every day about how to be an effective leader. Here are a couple of the lessons I have learned so far:

  1. Foundational Leadership
  2. Standing In The Line Of Fire
  3. Why You Are Never Too Important To Get Your Hands A Little Dirty
  4. Lead Like You Got Nothing To Lose
  5. A Few Tools I Use To Resolve Conflicts
  6. A Few Lessons I’ve Learned About Resolving Conflicts

Lesson 7: The piper must be paid. Learn to sell

BEQ80% of all entrepreneurs fail within the first year and a half. I am not a leading authority on this statistic. I do know that if you understand your businesses costs, your target market, and how to sell your product you are far more likely to be in the 20% group. Here are 8 blogs discussing those topics:

  1. Calculating The Breakeven Point
  2. Price And The Break Even Point
  3. Sell Based On Value, Not Price
  4. 10 Reasons To Sell Based On Value
  5. How To Use Social Media To Communicate Your Brand
  6. How Can Social Media Help You Sell Your Product?
  7. Why You Need A Social Media Marketing Strategy For Your Product

So there it is, the Josh Dragon guide to innovation. If you have any questions for me or I can help you in any way, please connect with me using any of the following methods:

Thank you for stopping by!

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