In today’s markets, you can
be disrupted, or choose to
disrupt others.

Which would you prefer?

Trevor Holmes,
Managing Director Advivo ICP

In considering the commercialisation of an innovation, it is critical to understand what type of innovation you have.

Is it a sustaining innovation? Is it a disruptive innovation? Knowing and understanding the type of innovation you have allows us to design the business strategies that give your innovation the greatest probabilities of success.

At Advivo Innovation and Commercialisation Partners, many of our own processes, data science techniques, validation methods and “go to market” strategies, are formulated on the back of the works of Dr Clayton Christensen’s Disruption Theory teachings. It is these statistically proven formula’s and frameworks that are applied to our customer’s projects and allows us to mitigate risk by knowing the path of least resistance.

Disruptive innovations are those that almost always demonstrate the following characteristics:
  • They are more affordable and accessible to consumers
  • They are not necessarily “better” performing, but offer new value propositions to customers
  • They are easy to use
To be a disruptive technology (either IT or a technological advancement in a physical product), they must:
  1. Have an enabling technology, meaning they have elements that drive radical change in the experience or capabilities of users (customers)
  2. Have an innovative business model
  3. Have a positive force in business, socially and economically

Why do more than 80% of innovations fail?

There are three types of innovations:

Sustaining innovation

Meaning it is an innovation that improves the “performance” of an existing product/technology or service e.g. the innovation of two then three then four etc. blades in razors were a sustaining innovation that improved performance of a standard razor

Low-End Innovation 

This is where the innovation targets those customers who are being “over serviced” for their needs, often at a higher cost than they would like. In many cases, the new innovation is “good enough” for low end users and therefore satisfies their needs at a much lower cost e.g. smartphones – when smart phones first arrived, they were a lower performing technology than PC’s and laptops, however they were “good enough” for people who wanted mobility, accessibility and simplicity of use i.e. they didn’t need all the technologies that a PC or a laptop offered (today they are gaining power and moving upstream into new markets; a discussion for another day)

New Market Innovation

Where the innovation creates new users who were “non-consumers” before the innovation was available e.g. Xero accounting package started off by servicing non-users of accounting packages. These were micro and small businesses who found the complexities of existing packages too difficult for their skills (i.e. they would need a bookkeeper) and therefore Xero offered them simple invoicing and basic functionalities.

No matter whether your innovation is sustaining or disruptive, how you take it to market can have a life and death implication on the result.

As an example, we know statistically that a “better performing” product going head to head with an established incumbent (existing business), has less than a 14% chance of success. However, with the right strategies employed, success rates can increase to over 66% (Source: Growth Science).

Get in touch to discuss the strategies that impact your innovation’s success.