As we deal with the challenges of the pandemic all around the world countless ventures have been forced to pivot their business model, products, services and customer personas. We at VAULT have had the opportunity and privilege of working side by side with founders and their teams to navigate these decisions.
As this process has been unfolding it dawned on me how crucial innovation is for companies to survive in times like these, which has an effect on the entire global economy and changes the landscape of business all around the world.
Below, I wanted to speak on the two primary forms of innovation that I’ve seen and discussed with founders in various industries and verticals.
Innovation by Necessity:
Necessity is the mother of invention. ~Plato
This type of innovation is applicable to companies in any stage of operations. Whether you are just getting started, or have an established model, the evolving economy and rapid changes in market-demand require all companies to stay flexible and imaginative. This needs to be coupled with the creativity to develop new offerings from their venture in order to keep them relevant in their space.
The founders that I’ve spoken with that are pre-MVP and product release have had to make, in some cases, drastic changes to their platform in order to “roll with the punches” thrown at them by the current pandemic. One of the main takeaways from this is that it’s ok to start over! Not every pivot requires a complete reset, but, if it does…who cares?! The idea is to build a successful venture, right? So it’s imperative that founders remain optimistic and diligent in the face of struggles, failures and setbacks.
Innovation by Opportunity:
Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity — not a threat. ~Steve Jobs
At this point, we can find countless examples of companies that have taken on the challenges of the pandemic and found opportunities within those challenges. For the sake of time, we’ll go with some of the obvious examples.
Nike, Hanes, Adidas, Under Armor, just to name a few, have all designed and developed their own facemasks. This may seem overly obvious and underwhelming but looking at this from a revenue generation perspective it has saved these companies millions in sales due to current restrictions. This small change in their product lines has made a giant impact on their success and fiscal growth.
Another innovative product that is changing the way business is done now and moving forward is the “video call.” Zoom and Google have both been able to capitalize greatly on the opportunities presented to them with the need for people to be able to meet face to face without being able to meet… well… face to face. The integration of their technologies into school curriculums, business operations and even social events has opened countless doors for others to follow and build off this, somewhat simple, innovation.
As I wrap things up I want to offer a mantra for any entrepreneur, business owner, or company leader. As a salesman, my training has always said to “Always be Closing,” on a higher level though, the thought really should be “Always be Innovating.”
If you find yourself stuck and the “innovative juices” just aren’t flowing, know that there are resources available that can help you kick start your business back to life.
Our team would be more than happy to set up a time to meet and brainstorm on some of the possibilities for innovation and pivots that can be made in order to make your venture more disruptive. You can even email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started right away.