The hardest part of innovation is to start

You’ve probably heard the word innovation about a dozen times in the last month. Innovation is one of those words that gets thrown around everywhere and everyone is talking about it. But do you know what it actually means? I always tell people that great ideas are only ideas if nothing is done for them. Innovation is defined by action. Without action, it’s not innovation. Everyone can ideate, but the hardest part is to actually start doing it, to start. Walking the walk instead of talking the talk. This can be really hard especially in large organizations.

Time kills the momentum

Maybe you have a billion dollar idea that you like to spread around and talk about all the time. People seem to resonate a lot with your thinking. You try to organize meetings with key people trying to get them excited about your idea. For months you run around from meeting to meeting and you still haven’t gotten anywhere. All you’ve gained from all those meetings are different opinions, maybe a few people liking your idea, maybe some expressing that your idea is bad, maybe you even got some new ideas along the way. But did your idea get closer towards action? Maybe. But was it done in the most efficient way? Definitely not.

Time is the idea’s worst enemy. The longer you hold on to your idea and try to get your voice heard, the slimmer the chance of success.

Typical innovation / product development process. Time and money is wasted and nobody seems to make any decisions.

Innovation isn’t a marathon. It’s a sprint.

The easiest way to start innovating is to get everyone in the same room from day one. This way you don’t have to spend time trying to pitch your idea to everyone in the organization, but you rather invite people in to develop the ideas with you. When everyone is on the same page from the start, it’s easier to get your ideas somewhere.

The process shouldn’t take long. And you shouldn’t innovate in a vacuum. Go out there, ask around, show your ideas to people and get comments from the actual customers or end-users.

The Finlabs Rapid Creation™ Process — Fast and efficient.

Kickstarting your innovation process in just 1–3 days

We have a process called Finlabs Rapid Creation. It is very similar to Design Sprint developed by Google Ventures (, but we also introduce a more technical perspective into it.

For years I struggled with sprints when working in a large organization. Usually, the end result was a powerpoint report or something similar and all momentum was lost almost immediately after the sprint. The process wasn’t aligned with the development process and again, money and time were wasted.

That’s why we designed the Rapid Creation process. Being a tech-company we not only have the tools to design and innovate with our clients, but we also have the technical skills and knowledge, in-house, to build the outcome. True end-to-end innovation partnership.

The Basics

We bring along our tech people so we have a clear understanding of the development needed for the product or service we will ideate around. The goal is to build from day one. Our technology experts will give opinions and tips along the way in order to keep the development piece of the puzzle as efficient as possible, and at the end of the process, we will also tell you how much the development will cost and how long undertaking a full build is likely to take.

At the end of the Rapid Creation process, you have a ton of fresh ideas, functional prototype(s), and a comprehensive plan to bring your ideas to life. In addition, we will also have a team immediately ready to build the outcome should you choose to do so. Regardless, you haven’t wasted a ton of money and time thinking. This time you actually did it. In the end, if your ideas fail it is far better the fail fast and you learn as much as you can to move on to success.

Read more about our process: or contact me directly.

About the Author:

Kimmo Äijälä is leading Design in Finlabs Oulu.

With over 10 years of design experience from different industries, and from both corporate and startup worlds, has made Kimmo a skilled designer who isn’t afraid of any challenge.

With a wide range of skills from Business Development and Product Management to UX and Visual Design, Kimmo is able to design any digital experience from start to finish.