Why Innovations Fail

Frederick E. Allen in his Forbes article Why Innovations Fail: It’s All in the Ecosystem sites many examples of Innovations that were first movers in their categories were failed as a commercial product. He  looks deeper into each of these cases and says they failed because though the product was great, but the team failed to take care of all those in the ecosystem. For example a technology tyre did not think about the repair shops who will have to upgrade themselves to cater to these new type of tyre. He then compares Sony e-book reader with Amazon Kindle, which was launched later but had all the right tie ups with the publishers. He of course talks about Apple products that always seem to get everything right despite being a closed system to an extent. 

I think when you commercialize an innovation, you do not to take a very critical look at all your links in the supply chain and see who all would need to change what all. What are the costs involved for them versus the returns that they can expect from the new product. Most products lie at the middle of the supply chain with some suppliers involved and some service providers at one end and customers or consumers at the other end. You need to fine tune both the ends so that the product can be a success. 

So look for those weak links and strengthen them before hitting the market.


Anuradha Goyal