Data kills innovation.

room44 Ltd

8th October 2019

Innovation, ‘new’ product development and creative strategy all have one thing in common; they are forward thinking concepts. Ideas that you have today will launch in the future, into a future market landscape and meet a need for a future consumer.

Nothing about the future has happened yet

Yes, straight line extrapolations of data will predict what might happen based on what went before but data isn’t able to anticipate anything new.

Example

I was brought up watching movies that my dad liked to watch and he loved Westerns. Stories of outlaws and Marshalls. Almost every story involved a bank robbery so my impression of America was that banks got robbed a lot.

The assumed accuracy of this information conflicts with the reality. When Westerns were set, in roughly the second half of the 19th century, banks rarely got robbed. It’s reported that between 1850 and 1900 there were less than 10 bank robberies across all fifteen states of the US.

Following that logic I may have straight line projected and come up with a number for the 2000’s but probably would have missed what has happened and what will happen. According to FBI published data there were 2,451 bank robberies in the US in 2016.

But, this figure is now thought to be reducing

A significant reduction in cash being held by clerks in banks means that holding one up is less lucrative than it once was. It’s also easier to illegally extract money from many, many individuals directly through their bank accounts, online, with the right skill-set.

Don’t just trust the data

To innovate successfully it is essential to apply creativity, intuition and to start believing the signals you see by reading market landscapes. As you make product design decisions it’s really important to see the world through the eyes of your consumers. Through a different lens, if you like.

Sometimes you need help.

Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.

If this kind of thinking can be helpful to you, let’s talk.

Here’s my diary. Book some time.

And by the way, Tumbleweed isn’t something an American cowboy or bank robber would have seen too often either. It came from the Ukraine. Go figure.

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