August 17, 2021
6 minutes to read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
Everyone is constantly looking to innovate, and innovation is the way we move forward as a company. This is how we empower our local communities and make massive waves globally. This is what every organization on this planet tries to integrate into its operations, and it is around this that many new generation start-ups revolve entirely.
The best companies are born when entrepreneurs combine their experience and passion in order to add value to the company. The Best Solutions explore ways to reimagine what innovation can mean in different contexts. When entrepreneurs truly innovate, they become agents of change, breaking old boundaries while building new bridges. There are many ways that entrepreneurs around the world are doing this. Here’s how EarlyBirds, a platform I co-founded, is breaking new ground, and how some of the lessons we learned on our journey can help you.
Related: 9 ways your business can drive innovation
Building a network of bridges
In my experience, most technology platforms offer tremendous value because they bring together (and solve) multiple issues from multiple stakeholders simultaneously. They function as bridges, connecting various parts hitherto unknown to each other. Innovation is achieved, in a sense, because an intelligently designed platform enables seamless problem solving and, therefore, the development of a thriving community.
In creating EarlyBirds, we observed and resolved the following issues faced by our stakeholders: Technology innovators with new products and solutions, in some cases at the proof of concept stage or at the minimum viable product stage, were looking for ways to ” identify and engage the first users. There were early adopter clients, private and public sector organizations looking to create an advantage by finding solutions to their problems. They wanted innovations that they could really use. In addition, there appeared to be concerns about the confidentiality of issues and a need for subject matter expertise, in areas ranging from finance to biotechnology. We envisioned a platform that would fill all of these gaps. We helped early adapters find relevant solutions faster and enabled innovators to scale faster, using the specialist knowledge of independent experts. In less than two years, the EarlyBirds ecosystem has identified over a million innovators, over 400 organizations and 100 consultants.
In my experience, if you focus on making authentic connections and building bridges that solve pressing community issues, you’ll be well on your way to your next powerful innovation.
Related: 4 secrets to starting a business and growing an online platform
Most organizations (or even people) seek innovation because they need to transform some aspect of their business or life. They seek to find the latest, most effective, and most enjoyable solution to a problem. Are you an entrepreneur thinking about the best way to revisit the design of your product or service from a new perspective? My suggestion is to look at the issues that businesses or people face when they want to transform. Where are they stuck and how can you help them?
For example, our goal with EarlyBirds was to help organizations in their quest for innovation to solve the technical and business problems of their business. We wanted to help them find solutions that would give them tangible and actionable results. When we started to design our framework, we realized that we could help organizations on two fronts: creating competitive advantage and developing agility. Our platform thus enables organizations to “self-learn” by showing them how to continuously improve in all functions of the company, how to quickly resolve business and technical challenges and how to stay on top of processes, disruptive innovative models and solutions coming to market. .
As the world around us changes at an unprecedented rate, everyone is looking to level up and stay on top of the next big disruption. No one wants to be left behind. The more you can creatively help your customers to proactively transform and stay on the right side of the wave, the more successful and welcome your innovation will be.
Related: Why innovation is becoming increasingly essential to entrepreneurship
Make it easier, smarter and faster
The best-designed interfaces do exactly what their users expect them to intuitively. Think about one of the tech platforms or ecosystems that you commonly use. It is possible that Airbnb, Facebook or Uber are among the first to come to mind. Each of these interfaces guides its users through each step of their journey, keeping one step ahead of their needs. They even use programs to better condition the needs of their users according to their budgets and preferences. They allow their customers to explore what is available in the market, which they might otherwise not be aware of. Innovation is achieved by offering the user a thoughtful and intuitive discovery journey, which is made immersive, smarter and faster. Users are delighted when they find exactly what they are looking for.
At EarlyBirds, on the one hand, we encourage technology innovators to get on board by allowing them to register for free on the platform. The platform then guides them to list their offer for customers to discover, quote their price, show supports and even share an online sales contract option if they don’t already have one. On the other hand, the platform encourages early adopters to list a business or technical challenge and indicate their exact needs. EarlyBirds then leverages big data to identify innovators and connect adopters with relevant innovators based on the challenges they face. By choosing to focus on the simplification, speed and intelligence of all users of our platform, EarlyBirds has become an open innovation technology ecosystem based on the three pillars of innovators, adopters and consultants.
My advice to entrepreneurs who build tech-driven platforms or businesses is to create compelling interfaces that effectively anticipate and solve each user’s needs. You want to help your users define their problems and challenges and support them in solutions. At every step of the user’s journey on the platform, you want to find ways to add value. On your platform, problem solving should be fun.