Customers don’t innovate. They iterate. So says Steve Jobs. Who are we to argue?
Innovation is creating something new, something great, something that meets the needs of the market in a way others haven’t yet. Iteration is a slight improvement over your current state. Customers generally want something to be a little better (longer battery life, less greasy, less expensive, more lemon scent). As a whole, they have a hard time explaining the deeper needs and wants that your product or service doesn’t truly fulfill, because there isn’t yet an option that will do the job. So, too ofter, they settle, and we let them.
But even more importantly, why do we play along?
You are a customer. You are a consumer of goods, user of services, wanter of shiny things. You control your own market drivers. And, many times, you settle for the lesser of many evils. Or the evil of many lessers, I suppose.
Let’s make today different. Demand better. Push the boundaries of “common courtesy” with your suppliers to look for better solutions. They need you to make themselves better.
And don’t forget to pull your customers into your own innovation sessions. They need to see the leaps in thinking you are chasing. They can help you make sure you land in the right place.