Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Invention is the mother of necessity

I never knew I needed one of these, but now I do.

True innovation does that. It creates a need where none could be expressed before. 

Early man existed just fine foraging for food and didn't need meat until fire was invented and it could be flame-broiled for deliciousness.

Business worked just fine with regular mail, until Fedex invented overnight delivery and then suddenly everything needed to be there the next day.

No one needed thousands of songs in their pocket and then Apple invented the iPod and iTunes and the music industry changed overnight.

I've used a shovel to remove snow for my past 25 years of home ownership always thinking of a better way. But, as Henry Ford is famously quoted saying, "If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." I know why snow throwers never interested me. Sure they're easier, but I still have to put on my heavy coat and boots and brave the cold.

It turns out what I really want is to remove the snow from my driveway and sidewalks from the comfort of my living room.

What do your customers and potential customers really want?

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