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Dare to ask questions. Innovation is about direction, not ideas.

In today’s innovation space, the goal is to design meaningful products, not just more capable ones. It is vital to critically evaluate innovation projects to ensure that they are on the right track.

Interviews with House of Innovation Associate Professor Anna Essén and Professor Roberto Verganti were recently published in a Svenska Dagbladet special issue on Innovation. Verganti spoke about the goal of design and innovation, while Essèn focused on the need to critically evaluate innovation projects.

“Most of the technologies inside the iPhone were not invented by Apple, what they did was pack it in the right direction. Apple changed the view of the mobile phone from being a means of communication to a personal device. Companies can have as many ideas as they want, but only when you know which one is meaningful do they become powerful innovations.”

- Roberto Verganti, Professor, House of Innovation

In Verganti's words, Innovation is not just about developing more capable products, it's about ensuring that those products are designed in a meaningful way.

New technology makes possible new dreams of the future, least of all in the healthcare and transportation sectors. Here, the goal of operationalizing radical innovation sometimes requires that private and public organizations break free of traditional roles and collaborate in new ways.

Mounting pressure in this domain often disinclines researchers to critically evaluate such collaborative ventures. The fear is that failure to collaborate implies failure to innovate, and so critical voices are viewed as harbingers of doom.

Yet, according to Essén, we must dare to disrupt ongoing innovation projects with critical, sometimes uncomfortable questions, to ensure that they are on the right track.

More information is available in SvD’s article (in Swedish).

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