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August 5, 2020

Innovation, utility, feasibility, scalability: the pillars of winning ideas

When is an idea actually innovative? When does it really make a difference? How does a company that wants to promote change become a game changer? Every day, small and micro companies come out of nowhere to pave their way in the world of big business, bringing radical change to a market niche or even large-scale change from one day to the next – or at least that’s how it looks to those on the outside. So what distinguishes these ideas from the thousands of other ideas conceived around the globe which don’t manage to take off?
The four magic words are: innovation, utility, feasibility and scalability. These concepts must guide any company that wants to drive change.

To successfully navigate the often stormy waters of global markets, start-ups should never forget these four pillars of success: innovation, utility, feasibility and scalability.


Innovation: the act or process of innovating, the creation, development and implementation of new systems, new orders, new production methods or similar. […] In practical terms, every novel idea, change or transformation that rejuvenates a political or social system, a production process, a technique, etc..
The Treccani dictionary defines innovation  as something that is profoundly different to that which has gone before, that significantly changes the way in which we had thought and acted up to just a moment earlier.
So is your idea really innovative? How will it impact the life and habits of the people that can benefit from it? Who and how many people will be prepared to pay for it? How will it improve the lives of those who will use it or benefit from it?


Utility: the quality, condition, having the property of usefulness, that can be used to one’s advantage or that gives an advantage, benefit, assistance (tangible or moral) […], specifying the person, object or purpose for which something is useful. […] In economics, it is the satisfaction obtained from the consumption of a given quantity of a good or service that the consumer considers suitable to satisfy an existing or future need. 
So, you’ve checked your idea is innovative in that your approach or product is very different to those existing on the market, but is it useful? Will people use this innovative product or apply your process? Does your idea really meet your target’s needs? Have you properly defined your target? Is it broad enough? And is your target ready for your innovative idea? History is full of potentially successful projects that never took off because they were pitched at the wrong time or in the wrong way.


Feasibility: feasibility, especially in bureaucratic and technical terms, means that your idea or project is viable and is capable of giving positive results (as well as being economically viable in the case of a project).
It may seem obvious but a winning idea must not only be innovative and useful but it must also be feasible. This factor should always be considered: when you conceive or design a new business, product or process, you must always make sure you can actually achieve it. You should evaluate what you can do to make it feasible and successful before investing your time and money. This does not mean you should give up on your idea or project or walk away at the first difficulty you encounter, but you need to be analytical, realistic and financially savvy.


Scalability: a business’s ability to generate incremental revenue without incurring additional costs.
Last but not least, how scalable is your idea? Once you achieve your first target, can you actually provide the services offered? Will you be able to replicate your services for other targets? Will you be able to grow your idea and develop it? Once again, you should not think short-term but should consider possible future developments so that your project does not quickly run out of steam (or lose its value/originality).

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