One of the most innovative products I have seen lately is Bibliotheca by Adam Lewis Greene. You may have seen his highly successful Kickstarter project come up in your Facebook news feed, or mentioned on sites like Huffington Post and Fast Company Design.
Greene saw a problem: the Bible can often be seen as boring and difficult to read. He thought, what if it could be like any other piece of literature, well designed, and easy to read. So, Greene broke down the Bible into four volumes, eliminated superfluous notes, cross reference, verse numbers and chapter numbers to create an elegant looking, easy to read book.
His funding goal on Kickstarter was quickly met, and reached over one million by the time the project was over. Greene sought to do something no Bible publisher has ever dreamed of, or at least had the audacity to do. He ignored what has historically been practiced by Bible publishers.
Greene, sought to meet and fill his own needs for a more pleasurable Bible reading experience, and in doing so was able to meet the needs of nearly 15,000 project backers. I would be willing to bet that never once did Greene think, this will never work. He decided to take a risk and innovate in a way that has never been done before, and he clearly created a winner.
Entrepreneurs should learn a valuable lesson from the Bibliotheca project. Innovation should be the result of your own needs and passions being fleshed out. Market validation, price point, and creating a high ROI should be secondary. Products and projects will succeed, regardless of their price as long as they are a direct result of innovation, a real problem being solved.
Most investors are looking for a quick exit. They want fast and furious market growth, but often times quality and truly innovative products are sacrificed because of the perceived need for mass appeal and competitive price points. I would venture to say that truly innovative products are competitive enough on their own that price is not a barrier to growth. Innovative products meet real needs, so price is rarely an issue of concern.
I believe that in order for entrepreneurs to create truly innovative products, they need to stop thinking about everything that stifles true innovation and simply focus on filling a need, and more than likely that need will be your own, which is also likely to be the need of somebody else.