Spiralling into progress: Innovation in a modern world

The introduction of colour TV did not happen overnight. In fact, its development took several decades. Even when the technology was finally available, it took more than 20 years to convince the majority of the public. In comparison, Facebook attracted 500 million users in its first six years of existence. It started out as a simple online university almanac, and expanded greatly from there.

Companies and organisations no longer have the luxury to develop an innovation project for years without connecting to their customers or potential partners. Innovations need to be developed with continuous feedback loops, in cooperation with several partners and above all: with the user in mind. This does mean that the initial stages of innovation need a lot of attention. In development work, this also means we cannot expect potential entrepreneurs to show up with a viable business idea at once. The evolution of these ideas – even before they are a product – is a large part of the process, and deserves to be supported as well.

10 steps for innovation development

In VIA Water’s Spring Blog they indicated that innovations thrive in a flexible and creative environment without too many restrictions. This is especially true when generating new ideas. Once the idea has been ‘found’ though, it can develop more easily into a proven concept through a more systematic approach. Gijs van Wulfen, an internationally renowned innovation expert, discusses 10 consecutive steps for innovation development. He starts with an idea at step 1, going through the steps to arrive at experimenting/piloting in step 9 (step 10 is defining a new business model). VIA Water has chosen to support innovations that are at the pilot stage, which is step 9 in Van Wulfen’s approach. Following Van Wulfens’ approach, step 2-8 must have been made at an earlier point. Where then can we place these first steps before a contract with VIA Water is signed?

You can read the entire story here: Summer Blog