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When Is the Right Time to Innovate?

Okay, that does sound like a loaded question. The average executive would probably answer, “Right now,” while raising an eyebrow that the question was even asked. But the answer may not be quite that simple. In an article for Business 2 Community, Daniel Burrus adds a bit of additional nuance to the discussion.

Innovate Soon

On the one hand—yes, businesses should always be pursuing innovation of all kinds right now. On the other hand, when it comes to deploying technological innovation in a customer-facing capacity, maybe you should… wait a little. The reasons stem from issues of adoption and availability. Burrus uses a few examples to illustrate this, one of them being the iPhone: Apple likely could have launched the iPhone sooner than they did, but they did not because the surrounding technology was not there to make it worthwhile yet. Internet speeds were not as stable or reliable, and processing power was underwhelming.

Burrus ultimately cites three factors to watch with regard to technological developments: bandwidth, storage, and computing power. Still, intuition will always play a part in innovation:

… think back to when video first made its way onto your desktop computer. In many cases, the viewing area was small and the picture quality was rather murky. The video itself was supplied by a disc rather than the high-speed Internet quality we’re used to now. But it was there, and many consumers readily took to it. That’s because it was cool and intriguing, and the overall quality of the experience played second fiddle to the “wow” factor.

That’s the essential crux of the question of when it’s the optimal time to introduce an innovation. Consider your objective in introducing certain types of digital innovation as well as your audience.

You can view the original article here:

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