Saturday, May 15, 2010

Innovating for 'utility' versus 'feature richness'

A key disruptive trend in innovation is the shift from innovating for ‘value richness’ to innovating for ‘utility’, ‘mass volume’ and ‘optimal price points’. This is a characteristic requirement in emerging economies like India. Most global corporations are incapacitated to create products and services for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ because they have been built to cater to high value markets. Innovating for a $ 700 smartphone and innovating for an email device for under $ 20 is vastly different.

This week, I took a look at Peek, Time Magazine's gadget of the year. Peek is a classic example of a mobile device that strips down the features of an expensive smartphone to its bare minimum for the purposes of utility. By virtue of this, it also strips down the price point to the realms of affordability. Peek is an email device that runs off a mobile network that gives people access to their emails at under $ 20 a month and the device has a full key board

Peek's founder, Amol Sarva, a US based wireless entrepreneur, launched peek in India at Rs Rs.2999 for the device and Rs 299 a month for the service.

Source: Why buy a Peek? from Peek India on Vimeo.

Achieving affordable price points for 2 billion consumers in emerging markets requires innovation of a different kind in processes, technique or materials and must be explored. It takes a new breed of companies and entrepreneurs to do that kind of innovation.

First Published on May 15th, 2010
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