New models of innovation 

Thomas Sutton  on Lift11 places the following question:

“What happens if we stop trying to understand consumers’ needs, and start cultivating empty spaces where people can innovate for themselves? In other words, letting go of the dream of a perfect, scientific innovation process by which products or services could “fulfill unmet needs”.

In my opinion, we will find at least two distinct situations:

-One, where people won’t satisfy their needs and will follow the principle of pleasure or the path of not conscious use and consumption of products and services, i.e. innovate without meaning, as happens with a large number of inventions or applications, or won’t create by failing to articulate their needs.

-The other, people will innovate adjusting the creation on their real needs without having to consume or purchase irrelevance or redundancy.

This second situation, by requiring a narrower set of competencies is not widespread, can emerge as refining or the custom-made clothing

as many individuals and businesses need.

Throughout the world, Portugal included, there are situations that fit this template and I like to call it “extensibility”. The principle is simple, there is a product or service that is delivered and after, the user, without changing the base, builds its “unique” according to their needs.

We can see this in software or in cars, in tourism projects or on product packaging in the supermarket.

These processes, however, often need co-creation given the specific nature of some products or services, but allow the diversity and interdisciplinary work synonyms of wealth in the results.

To allow others to build on what we create is to amplify our creativity and a little of us.

What is important is not what is inside of things created, but the situation that is created, because the dynamics of the system is what’s around them and what adds value.

Often what we create surpasses our need or the necessity of others and this can lead to redundancy and to avoid it we have to coincide with our behavior or the desired behavior.

Is it possible the complete abandonment of control?

What kind of conflicts can arise from the integration of open design (T. Sutton) with co-creation?

To allow users to conduct design through constructive dialogue is an important aspect in open innovation, but it will be an extensible option to any situation?

When we put something in the world, we are establishing a dynamic relationship between things and people, but not necessarily a good neighborhood.

Think about this! 

I like to think that, in people, there are unmet needs (known but unresolved), needs not articulated (no solution because no definition of the problem) and hidden needs (unidentified problems and not defined). If in fact there is a significant difference between them, and I think yes, co-creation can indeed be the constructive dialogue that is necessary.

What do you think about this?


One Response to Extensibility of creativity and innovation

  1. I enjoyed the way you developed these ideas from Robert Sutton’s question: “What happens if we stop trying to understand consumers’ needs, and start cultivating empty spaces where people can innovate for themselves?”

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