This morning’s “Handelsblatt” – in an article commenting on the dismal market performance of electric cars – concludes: “Innovations can’t be prescribed.”

Quite to the contrary: Innovations have to be desired by and provide benefits to users to become successful. As Everett Rogers (who also coined the famous term “Early Adopters”) already found in the early 1960s: successful innovations have to

  • provide a sufficient relative advantage
  • be compatible with the user’s practices and values
  • be simpler and easier to use than the user’s current solution
  • be easily accessible for trying out
  • produce observable results (so other users will discuss and copy their use)

(paraphrase by me)

If you put yourself in your user’s shoes and feel that you can tick all five for your new product with confidence – congratulations, you may be on to a winner!

As for electric cars, you may judge for yourself.