40 Innovation Questions to Take Your Startup’s Products to the Next Level

Ideas are free, only execution is priceless

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During my stretch as a strategist at an innovation agency, my first side project was to create an innovation audit.

It was an exercise to help our clients, and ourselves, think more creatively about our projects.

Once I presented it internally to the team, my innovation audit elicited a string of dread filled groans and eye rolls. It was met to the tune of yawns and yeah yeah yeahs.

So much for that idea.

But I am still proud of it. And it occurred to me that I never actually shared it.

So here you go. Happy innovating.

Scott Ginsberg’s Innovation Audit

PLATFORM: Make it seamless for people to express themselves.

How does this give people another reason to stop by?
How can visitors browse an entire collection of experiences?
How can we directly wire this into an existing online ecosystem?
How do we make an event happen beyond the walls of the venue?
How do we curate situations that bring discovery of cool new things?
How can we let people engage with the project as it’s being produced?
How do we create a system that makes audiences equal members of the stage?
How does this give users an addictive reason to keep revisiting and refreshing?
How can we build a soapbox open to anyone and everyone as a place to speak their minds?
How can we create a project that grows incrementally with each online interaction and reaction?

CULTURE: Create something of cultural meaning above and beyond the product.

How can we let the brand’s fans define something?
How can we bring a dying role into the next century?
How can we create an entirely new product category?
How can we approach an industry in an entirely new way?
How could the very things that most companies fear fuel us?

How can we wrap the product story and human story into one?
How do we build a platform that features evocative narratives?
How does this take an activity to a scale never before achieved?

How do we instill new habits in people and align the brand with them?
How can we document people’s paths to becoming something or someone?

CONNECTION: Give people access to each other, emphasizing the brand’s social function.
How does this use the brand to connect people?
How does it deliver a healthy dose of gamification?
How can we come closer to an existing community?
How can we act as the middleman between two relevant parties?
How does this offer new ways to fulfill the human desire to belong?
How does this both appease problems and act as marketing in itself?
How does this quickly identify unsatisfied customers and reach out to help them?
How does the chain of customer influence use casual approval instead of critical acclaim?
How do we let people share moments with each other so they can experience things together?
How do we leverage an unpredictable testing ground for new ideas that allows us to be truly open with the community?

EXPERIENCE: Integrate the brand to fit into people’s lives.
How does this precisely complement people’s way of life?
How can we give people a huge digital sandbox to play in?
How do we put the product in the context of people’s daily world?
How does this turning a painful process into a pleasurable practice?
How is this an excuse to spend more time doing something mundane?
How can we let technology enhance an experience from start to finish?
What idea, that people are convinced is dead, can we bring back to life?
How do we create an experience that makes people believe in something again?
How does this reward people for everyday interactions that they’re already having?
What experience, that people avoided as a badge of honor, are they now obsessed with?

Are you innovating, or just creating?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Written by

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

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