The world has drastically changed over the past couple of years all thanks to technological advancements. In the days of our great grandfathers we couldn’t converse with colleagues cities away leave alone countries or even continents. This has now been made possible by instant messaging applications with call features. With globalization, individuals traversed the world in search for better opportunities leading to a myriad of positives with some negatives but in entirety, there is no going back.
In Kenya currently, the number of technology or technology enabled companies being registered are at an all time high. Additionally, the standard innovations are not anything unless they are pegged on technology failure to which they may not even get to the initial stages in evaluation. That’s how technology have evolved. I remember my days in high school when during science congress we would present electric trains, solar driven cars and eco-friendly cookers among others. These may not go far these days. It’s not that they are not good and feasible ideas. It’s just that times have passed and there is more to do than focus on relics. They have been overtaken by time mostly.
I have just finished reading about the digital health renaissance and essentials in building digital health solutions as written by McKinsey. Of critical value is the common rhetoric that most innovators in the current space haven’t quiet figured out yet, the need to focus on the problem one is solving. Often times we have brilliant ideas or so we think and figure out how to bring them to the market with hopes that they’ll be successful. On the contrary, often than not they fail. In my case I can acknowledge that I did understand the problem in question and saw it to the extent that I even figured out how to implement my solution. It was all feasible except for one thing; the target market hadn’t felt the pain as much and therefore they didn’t see the need for the solution being offered. For it to materialize, I therefore had to sensitize the masses to understand the concept, acknowledge the problem and have a desire to take up the solution being offered. In other words I had to build a market for it before I could bring it to market. I came in reverse and that’s how failure tastes.
To the innovator, visionary and hot headed one reading this, acknowledge that the solution you have for the world may be the best version of itself with a feasible market value. Unfortunately, if the target market doesn’t feel they have a problem that your solution solves, then you’d rather rethink the process. This is one of the reason most incubators focus on identifying the problem being solved, conducting market studies to understand it, test prototypes and optimize before going out fully into the market.
On the backdrop of all this, don’t look at technology as the solution. It’s merely an enabler. We used to communicate before phones came, but with phones it was made easier. We travel without automobiles but with them, there is more ease in travelling. That’s the power of technology as an enabler.