I came to this realization the hard way. In 2000 I led a team creating one of the world's first smartphones. We knew all that smartphones could potentially do, but we could not accept that customers would use only a small fraction of these functions at first. Later, I founded one of the first mobile marketing companies and was perplexed that the idea took off so slowly. Eventually I researched the patterns of how disruptive innovations get adopted, and I discovered useful insights I wished I had known years earlier:
2. Concentrate on a widely-shared problem -- If your hope is to generate publicity about your disruptive innovation, focus on a problem that many people have. People love to talk about common issues, even if they are trivial in nature.
3. Address low-risk situations -- The disruptive innovation may solve some critical problem, but in those situations the risk associated with a new solution may be high. If the problem is really critical, it is likely being addressed somehow already. Failure of a new solution could cause untold difficulties, so customers will wait on the sidelines to see if others have a good experience. That dynamic can immensely lengthen the process of adoption.
4. Cater to incremental adoption -- Don't make the adoption decision binary. Give people a way to get their feet wet.
I explore these points in more depth in my piece for Forbes on how to launch a disruptive innovation. The idea is not enough; it must be launched in a way that fits how customers embrace new ideas.
This post was written by Stephen Wunker. Read more of our thinking on innovation capabilities.