Evaluating your innovation

People every day, whether in business or not, have bright ideas and make initial discoveries about new or improved products, services or processes. Generating ideas and being innovative are important contributors to success in business.

Any original concept, new or improved device, product, material, business model, process or service can be considered an innovation. The true test of whether an innovation can become a business success is when:

  • a new device, product or service becomes accepted by the marketplace
  • a new business model or process improvement delivers cost savings, efficiency gains or productivity improvement that translates into a competitive advantage.

Very few innovations end up making money for their creators. Many factors can contribute to this low success rate, such as:

  • the innovation is not technically feasible
  • there is little demand for it
  • its development has been poorly planned
  • it cannot be produced at competitive prices
  • inadequate knowledge of the marketplace and competitors
  • inadequate management skill to commercialise the innovation.

Before you invest scarce and valuable resources as well as time and energy in the quest to have your innovation reach the marketplace, you can take some important steps to determine whether the innovation is, or can become, commercially feasible.

This is also the least costly aspect of taking a new innovation to market. Evaluating your innovation’s potential can save you that second mortgage on the family home, or give you the confidence to pursue further development.

This guide explains the steps that will help you to evaluate your innovation and determine its viability in the market and your next steps.