Innovation Management – The Boom – Not Doom – from Market Failure

New Sources of value

While it might seem that the disruption du jour is all anybody is ordering these days, making innovation, growth and new value seem like insurmountable things, businesses should focus on where they can find value most quickly. So why not begin where others have ended in non-consumption, organizational friction or market failure? Such unexpected failures provide opportunities for solutions, and solutions are the source of explosive value.

What do these three common challenges mean in business terms? Simply that the economics are not valuable enough to get folks to focus on them. Often, it seems that the problems are too unwieldy to tackle, the transaction costs are too high or the friction is too great to internalize the costs within a firm. However, understanding these issues can help explain why a vast number of businesses are difficult to franchise or scale, or a segment of a market is perceived to be of insufficient value, and therefore of no benefit or interest.

Take any expanding company and ask: what underlies your growth? Across industries and time, explosive value has come from addressing market failure, organizational friction, and non-consumption head-on, through the development and deployment of new assets and capabilities. These issues create a white space or void – an opportunity – in which an innovative solution can provide businesses with the value and growth they seek.

Across industries and time, explosive value has come from addressing market failure, organizational friction, and non-consumption head-on

Taking on Market Friction

An excellent example of taking on market friction is Uber. The essential value proposition of Uber is ‘convenience’ – get a car when and where you want it and the payment for the service is transparent. Eliminate the frictions of inconvenience and payment transactions and what do you get? Explosive growth.

Market breakdown can be seen in Google and Apple iTunes l with material implications on explosive value creation (for them) and value destruction (for others).

Finding Solutions to Market Failure

The gap between the significant need for innovation in this arena and the meager returns to those who invest in this innovation management which represents a market failure. How so? The typical pharmaceuticals business model is based on price-times-volume equals revenue opportunity, meaning investment focus. However, anti-microbial resistance does not follow this model because the more the drugs are used, the lesser the efficacy of those drugs.

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