In this age of innovation, entrepreneurship and unlimited opportunities for
startups, it is paramount to know what will make your innovation be successful as an application or product. At times, it may even define or redefine what you have imagined as your world class innovation.
Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory seeks to explain how new ideas or innovations are adopted, and this theory proposes that five attributes of an innovation effects adoption: Relative advantage, which is the first attribute, refers to the extent to which the innovation is more productive, efficient, lesser cost, more compact in size shape and easy to handle than what was used previously. Then comes ‘compatibility’ ,the perceived consistency of the innovation with existing values, experiences & need for potential adopters. It may be more efficient and provide consistently better experience, however, if it is perceived as difficult to understand and use, then it will not be adopted. Thus ‘complexity’ perceived by the users in the innovation becomes and attribute affecting adoption. Many customers would like to try the new innovation for a limited period before it is adopted, hence ‘trial-ability’ becomes a major influencer. If the results of the innovation are really visible, then adoption also increases thus making ‘observability’ the fifth factor.
Startup companies or innovators who are working on commercialisation of their idea can benefit from this model by asking some simple questions.
The innovation is always dear to the innovator, but what value are you creating for the user in terms of efficiency, productivity, cost or any other aspect. And if there is a value created, is this something the user would want to have. Hence, feedback from actual end users will be a very valuable tool to make innovation more relevant.
Many a times, innovators appreciate disruption too much, ignoring the fact that customer behaviour often affects adoption.
Fine tuning the innovation to be in line with general customer behaviour also will pay rich dividends. Customers, excluding early adopters , seldom understands or bother about the technology that goes into any innovative product. For them, it is all about simplicity to understand and use. Hence the implementation should take care of usability aspects very well. Innovators also should think of ways and means of connecting with customer community even before making a sale so that the productwill be seen, touched and believed.
Innovators, especially young entrepreneurs tend to frequently miss some of these aspects while implementing their innovation. An Incubation Centre and mentoring support is vital in such cases. Bionic Hope Pvt Ltd, a company incubated at Incubation centre IIT Patna shared how mentoring helped them to address some of these issues effectively. “ Ours is a team of energized minds, focusing to develop a functional prosthetic hand for the common people keeping quality of human lives as our prime goal. Being students of technology from premier institutes like IIT Patna, we wanted our product to have cutting edge technology in it. After getting incubated at IC IIT Patna, our mentors helped us to realise that the end user needs a product that is lightweight, robust and easy to operate, irrespective of the technology innovation we were bringing in. We started talking to amputees,we realised that many of our initial thoughts were not really important for the customers. Hence we fine tuned our product design. We are confident that when we come into market a few months from now, our product will be truly relevant to the end users.”
Akshay Saxena, one of the co-founders said ”With proper guidance of incubation team, we got selected for AIT 2016 organised by Swissnex and also won the BIRAC IIPME Grant. The labs really helped us to develop a number of prototypes which enabled us to fine-tune our solution. We, as a team, is thankful to Incubation CentreIIT Patna for providing us facility and mentorship, which enabled us to grow not only faster but also in the right direction.”