Innovation can come from many angles. We often think of innovation as the evolution or the development of new technologies or new inventions. In reality it can take many forms.
In any case, for an innovation to really be recognized and stick, it needs to be confronted with the market and the real world. Do people actually need this? are they ready to pay for it?
That's what market validation is all about.
Take the new technology and find organisations or groups that would actually find benefits in using it. Engage with players in the identified market segment and find partners and initial early adopters that will be ready to buy it.
Validation really starts hitting home when clients are ready to commit financially. Free trials are a great way to test the technology, but paying customers are the real deal.
Here are a few great videos that share some tips and ideas for market validation.
Now these principles do not only apply to startups. Any new product development in large or medium size organisations should also go through market validation before investing significant amounts of money and effort.
There are many resources available to guide you towards the right market validation approach but in the end, you will need to adapt the best approach for your product and the market that you are targeting. And that's where you can think outside of the box, again!
So innovation can come in your new product or service, in your business model but also in the way you approach the market in the first place.