Cultural context is deliberately listed above as number one, as this is likely where the unresolved problem or unmet need or want will be found. Plus considering the economic, regulatory, technology and geographic contexts is vital. Finding a solution to solve an inherent problem or just making the complex easier is the fuel of growth innovation.
Social and other innovators may also find innovation in the environmental, health, welfare and other contexts - where do unresolved problems reside?
Truely innovative products redefine the category or create new categories. For example, they see banking as less about credit cards and home loans, and more about living a great life, achieving goals or better managing money. Or, retail is less about shopping and more about an experience or reducing choice anxiety.
They make lives better and/or easier.
The sweet spot of the innovation enterprise is right smack in the middle of the product and the selling. The spot where a community of passionate supporters is found. Innovation that not only makes the product better but also snowballs its selling.
Critically it is about ensuring that the size of the ‘sweet spot’ is big enough to build a growth business. And, this is achieved from making the product less about you, and more about your tribe, your community.
That's our thoughts on finding innovation.