The paths to innovation can be as original and creative as innovation itself. Brainstorming, experimentation, even the techniques used by comedians can be a great way to nurture and drive new ideas.
Although this last point sounds a little strange, Paul Valerio, Principal of the interactive design agency Method, published an investigation where he makes an interesting parallel between innovation and humor. What do they have in common? According to him, product innovation and humor are two very different disciplines. He lists the eight characteristics to have in mind to apply to both in order to achieve success.
1. Know Your Audience, Then Ignore Their Advice
When it comes to innovation, the customer is rarely right. At least, they’re rarely right about what they want next. For that reason he suggests using investigation to understand, not to evaluate innovation development. A comedian doesn’t ask the audience what the next joke should be about, he has the skill to tell them. Great comedians, he says, know how people think and the kind of experiences they have in common. “Similarly, the best market research is aimed at understanding how customers interact with a given product category, not in asking them what should come next.”
Continue reading for the rest of Paul Valerio’s tips.