There are a lot of “How to start a business” books and resources. Many of them are technically correct. What’s missing are resources on the process of growing a technology innovation idea into a viable business. You have dozens of ideas a day, how do you know which ones are worth pursuing?
Take the FREE Innovation Concept Quiz
The truth is that all innovators have to navigate different situations, otherwise they wouldn’t be innovating. The key to transitioning idea to reality is in knowing how to navigate those situations to produce a value added product. Sure, there are a lot of products that do not add value, while also making a viable business… for awhile. It is also a lot harder to find a seasoned investor to contribute.
In order for a product to have staying power, the product must become an essential part of daily life. To do this, it must add value. How one navigates the turbulent, wide open waters to identify the product that adds the intended value, is a process.
This innovation concept quiz helps you determine where you are in that process between cocktail napkin through research, problem definition, product definition, and, finally to prototype/minimum viable product.
When trying to start a business and find investors, you have to go beyond having the great idea that adds value, you have to strategize how to grow that idea into a viable prototype while mitigating risks to investment. Knowing where you sit can be an effective communication tool that helps you gain the trust and support of investors and collaborators.
Essential to growing your idea is communicating not only how mature it is, but also what it is and why these stakeholders should care. Because disruptive technologies inherently aim to change consumer behavior by adding value, you can use the WKID Innovation framework to help you identify and integrate design principles into your product.
WKID Innovation is a framework to create disruptive technology while mitigating risks by using system engineering, design thinking, the scientific method, and the knowledge hierarchy. This framework was developed by WKID Solutions founder, Natasha Stavros, based on her experience as a science system engineer working for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This innovation concept quiz translates that experience into 13 questions to help you determine how mature your concept is and what you should do next to grow that idea while mitigating risks to investments (time and money). These questions rank your idea into one of five Innovation Concept Maturity Levels: 1) cocktail napkin, 2) research, 3) problem definition, 4) product definition, 5) prototype product.
These Innovation Concept Maturity Levels are an adaptation of two readiness levels widely used by NASA: the TRL and ARL. The Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) that determine the readiness of a technology to fly in space, which requires very low risk especially when using taxpayer dollars. The Application Readiness Levels (ARL) that convey the readiness for any technology to be applied operationally in decision support systems. The ARLs are a means for communicating how mature that technology is for use in this specific decision support use case.
While TRLs and ARLs are great for maturing an idea because they offer discrete milestones and deliverables, they do not help you determine which ideas are robust enough to mature. This is why we offer you the Innovation Concept Maturity Levels in this quiz.
Following the guidance of these Innovation Concept Maturity Levels can help you mitigate risks associated with transforming your technology idea into a prototype. They can increase your chances of transitioning your technology from early adopters to the early majority and mitigate risks to investors.