Being creative is not enough

On November 13, 2012

We live in a world where new innovative products are launched every day. Some of these creative products do succeed. So, we end up believing creativity is the main ingredient for success.

In some ways, this is true. Creativity is essential for solving existing and future problems, making life easier, inspiring young minds, and advance the human race.

But that doesn't mean that every creative idea is worth executing, and will be successful. For any idea to be successful, the most important factor is it's value in the eyes of the customers.

Some questions to ask yourself before implementing that new creative idea would be:

  • Does the problem needs to be solved at all? Do customers even want it?
  • Is it worth putting the resources and time in developing it?
  • Does it really makes things easier to do? Or will it even complicate the existing functionalities?
  • Does it provide value for the targeted price? Will customers also think so?
  • What's the maximum number of users who might be interested in such product? If user base is small, will it be worth continuing development and providing services to them in the long-term?
These are just some of the questions worth thinking about when you decide to make any new creative product.

It's not enough that the customer feels your product is worth what he paid for. Instead, the customer should feel that the product is worth multiple times of what he paid for.

The reason the customers feel like that is because, you make them feel that way. How? By making sure that your product makes their life simpler, saves their time, gives them more control, or any combination of these factors. 

This concept of applying creativity to make really valuable and useful products isn't new. I first came across this thought while reading the book 'Made in Japan' by Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony.

He gives few examples of some inventions that were very creative and worked as intended, but still didn't succeed because they were difficult to implement and weren't worth using in everyday life.

There are some elements behind every successful product. Creativity may be one of them. I am saying 'may be' because sometimes you just need to recognize the problem before others do, and solve it in a simple way. There is no need to be creative, if it's not required.

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