Just because we can doesn’t mean we should!

The attraction of new technology is often beguiling. David Mattin, Head of Trends and Insights at commentators trendwatching.com, has long advocated that the failures of technologies such as Google Glass was because they failed this basic test.

Allowing the technology to dictate what is launched to the world can sometimes yield success, but as the evidence of the high percentage of failures shows, often the hype exceeds the hope.

David Mattin argues that innovation must always think about people first and, more importantly, develop things where the benefit in terms of ease of use outweighs the cost and hassle of using it. Things like “Amazon Dash” seem like a good idea to some people and there may be a niche but widespread use seems unlikely. By contrast, Alexa, which has many multiple uses, will appeal to more of the people more of the time. And that is key.

Mattin recommends that innovators and start-ups should always view technology through the lens of ‘deep human needs and wants’, not through the lens of technological possibility. That is easy to say but somewhat harder to do without conducting market research. But market research has an issue.

Designing research studies for products or mobile phone apps that do not yet exist, may require the need to get respondents to think about doing everyday tasks in new ways to how they do them at the moment. Sometimes that is easy – it is not a big step to tell an electronic assistant to order a pizza versus speaking to someone on the phone – and the benefit in terms of time saving from not having to find the phone, dial the number, wait for the call to be answered, and then negotiate with someone who is capable of totally independent thought and of unknown intellectual competence is clear and tangible!

The question is whether there is a more straightforward way to judge the likely marketplace success of the product or service you are looking to develop. And, of course, there is.

Marketplace success is driven by five key elements – known as the RAAVE drivers.

  • Relevancy – Do I need this?
  • Association – Is this something or a company I would like to be associated with?
  • Accessibility – Is this easy to use and can I afford to use it?
  • Value – Does the benefit outweigh price and hassle involved in using it?
  • Expectation – Will it do what it says on the tin?

If you want to know whether or not your next venture will be a marketplace success then judge it on research that tells you the answers to these five questions – both in absolute terms and relative to the competitors you are up against, both old and new.


If you out-score the competition on these five criteria then you will be likely to have a success on your hands.

Lag behind on one or more of them and you may have a problem.

Success is never guaranteed as the world is dynamic, but knowing your score on these five dimensions will ensure you stack the odds in your favour.

Read more Schezzer’s Blog articles at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-because-we-can-doesnt-mean-should-schezzer-scheherazade/

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