As a tech company, your bread and butter is innovation, continuous innovation that is. It doesn’t stop with one out-of-the-box product or service idea. You’ll need to continuously innovate in your arena to stay ahead of the competition, especially in the tech space where companies are innovating faster than the rate at which companies in other industries or sectors do. New applications, systems, and tools are being brought to market seemingly on a monthly basis. Here’s five tips on how to stay innovative and, as a result, competitive in the tech space:
Systematically Create New Ideas
It’s good to bring fresh, new ideas to the workspace. That being said, you need to have a system in place to accept and process these new ideas otherwise it can lead to misuse and wrongful allocation of resources including time and manpower. There is no one system you should follow when processing these ideas, but having a plan can simplify it. Know where to find new ideas, how to choose which idea to pursue, how to create a minimum viable product or prototype with which you can acquire feedback, and how to measure success for each idea launched. Having too many ideas and pursuing too many of them at any given time can lead to a faster burn rate, which over time can kill your company.
A stagnant company shuts itself off from opportunities. In the long-term, these companies won’t survive from the ever-changing markets and market players. A sense of continued learning and unfaltering curiosity, on the other hand, entertains new ideas and new possibilities to grow and make money. Foster a work environment with a continuous feedback loop that catches innovation where it can be found. In some tech companies, employees are emboldened to take risks as long as the lessons they stand to learn from failing are worthwhile. In order to thrive in the tech industry, you have to be able to wield technology and understand it better than your competitors do. And to use it hands-on and in the field means to take risks. Learn anything and everything you can about your niche, whether it’s new database management systems or project accounting practices.
Look at the Big Picture
With technology influencing so many aspects of human life and modern civilization, it’s essential to focus on how the next technological breakthroughs will reshape the future. Part of being innovative as a tech company is understanding what products or services your customers will need down the line. For instance, if you are a B2B company offering IT as a service, you could have predicted the need of your business customers to be able to access their data from anywhere around the world, which could have potentially improved your customer retention rate tenfold. Cultivating this sixth sense or foresight will take time, but if you are really invested into your enterprise and its growth, you’ll find time in your busy schedule to keep up to date on industry-related news.
Talk to People
There isn’t enough time in the day to read every book or every news article online about the latest tech breakthroughs or practices in the space. Talking to people is by far the simplest and most effective way to stay innovative as a tech company. Talk to people in the tech space, whether it’s consumers, software engineers, startup founders, or even just budding entrepreneurs eager to prove themselves. Venture capitalists are also a good source of information as they often meet with a lot of other entrepreneurs who pitch ideas to them.
As a tech company, one of the discerning traits you should bolster is your ability to innovate. And as your company’s founder, it falls on your lap to look for ways to remain innovative and competitive. Study your market, research your competitors, and keep talking to people.