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4 Building Blocks for Innovation: Latent, More, Better, and New

Because there are always at least two parties
involved, value always has at least two faces, one for each. The fact
is that usually there are more than two. Just as it takes a village to
raise a child, it takes an ecology to cultivate value. Every
participant – including partners, suppliers, allies, beneficiaries, and
others – is a player in value generation.

It is normal for each side to appreciate a different facet of the
transaction. If the store sells you a package of potato chips, you get
the chips and the store gets your cash, two very different benefits.
But each is required for a successful transaction. Each is equally
valid to its recipient.

There are four different ways to provide value, all of which are used
to generate successful innovation. They are the four building blocks of
innovation:

1.   
Latent Value

This is value that is latent, waiting to be found and exploited. It is
like an underground reservoir, sitting there unnoticed, dormant, and
ripe for discovery.

2.   
More Value

Here you increase the worth of current, established value. You achieve
this one of three ways:
i.    Decrease the required investment and provide the
same benefit
ii.    Keep the investment the same and provide a
greater return
iii.    A combination of 1 and 2.
Increases and decreases can happen either incrementally, in linear
steps, or in multiples by scale.

3.   
Better Value

This uses existing benefits but increases impact, intensity, or
application.
�    Impact is the consequence, effect or influence of a
given benefit.
�    Intensity refers to the strength, power, or potency
of a benefit.
�    Application means that the same benefits can now be
transferred to a wider variety of uses.

4.   
New Value

When some new benefit that has not existed before is mid-wifed, you
have new value. Many people will tell you this cannot be done. They are
most often doing one of two things when they say this: (a) referring to
the emotional state of the person you are satisfying, implying that our
emotional states are known and finite, or (b) abstracting so much that
the value they describe becomes relatively useless in application.

I disagree with them whole-heartedly. While universals are a fact of
life, our world is rife with new developments never before seen in
history. The Internet, quantum computers, the printing of skin through
inkjet technology, nano-sized batteries… The list is endless. New
products give rise to new services and make possible new desires.

There is plenty of new value and there always will be. It is in our
nature to invent, create, design, contrive, devise, develop, conceive,
and originate. Further, evolution is not by any means over. It’s only
gotten this far.

Sources of new value include: never before exploited synergies, new
constellations, emergent properties of novel combinations, applications
of new technologies, unsatisfied yearnings, dreams, the desire to
improve bad customer experience, taboos emerging as acceptable
behavior, changing market trends, random or serendipity successes,
evolution, coexistence of mutually exclusive possibilities, paradox,
insight, applied natural phenomenon, intentional stretching of
possibility, trial and error, and that’s just what I dreamt up sitting
at my keyboard in two minutes!