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How to de-risk innovation In a country where there are 1.3 billion and in a world with over 6 billion more people, you have to make sure you know your reason for innovation

By Sanil Sachar

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Fast-paced lives, evolving technologies, and the need of several sunrise sectors demand we innovate, and adapt to new styles and approaches in order to create the new over and over again. In simple terms, innovation is a critical part of every life. This comes with risk.

Risk brings with it nervousness, anxiety, and adrenaline, which make us make decisions that are rash and in return, make innovation an even riskier ask. (Talk about a Catch 22 situation!)

Here Are Two Key Methods on How to Take Away The Risk From Innovation -

The way we walk, the way we speak, the way we behave. These are all adaptations to approaches that already exist and therefore your way of doing something is new, thus it is an innovation. Because what innovation is, "is something conducted in a manner which is new.' Everyone has their own way of doing something new.

But what brings us together is that while we all innovate, we all have a reason to do so.

Now, in a country where there are 1.3 billion and in a world with over 6 billion more people, you have to make sure you know your reason for innovation -

Know Your Why

Before we begin, we always have a lot of hypothetical situations in our mind. Assumptions of what might happen to push us to make a decision without thinking why we are doing something and instead focus more on what we should do.

The ideal example of innovation with a definitive "Why' is a straw.

The "Why' for straw is, to make it easier for humans to consume liquids. Straws have been around for centuries and one of the most common ways that people consume liquids. The design hasn't changed much throughout all that time because there was very little need.

One person, though, decided that a way to get children to drink juice and milk rather than aerated beverages would be to create a fun straw rather than a boring straight one and thus bent straws into unusual shapes. They proved to be a huge success and are sold in millions every year. They have adapted to the changing demands of consumers but stuck to their core use case.

Innovations come from what we have.

The Oldest "Original" Car —

And today's version — Both stem from the same reason for making transport easier.

Think Big, Act small, Make Mistakes And Fail as Fast as You Can

To be able to innovate you need to be able to see from both sides of the lens. Companies that don't succeed predominantly saw their problems from the top like a helicopter and not in between like a scuba diver. We make decisions that aren't backed by knowledge and knowledge doesn't come until you're in the mind of the consumer or in other words, playing the role of the deep fish.

Even while making newer decisions, it's not until you've gone out there, in the field that you realise, you need to make suitable changes or pivot. Risks will pose a threat to how you currently work but standing in the middle of the bridge is, in fact, more dangerous. Therefore, fall in love with what you do, but not with the process. Start small and then play big, with small steps. We commonly call this a proof of concept, but in truth failing fast is the first step to making the right step.

Lastly, no one ever spoke or walked, in their first attempt, similarly, innovation will demand you fall and stand up again.

"TO BE ABLE TO INNOVATE YOU NEED THE COURAGE TO TRY,

THE STUPIDITY TO TRY AGAIN,

THE RESILIENCE TO TRY ONE MORE TIME,

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

THE PASSION TO KEEP GOING.'

Simply, in order to de-risk innovation, we have to take the risk to innovate.

Sanil Sachar

Entrepreneur, National Best-Selling Author & Angel Investor, Co-founder - Huddle, Co-owner - Trusox

Sanil Sachar is one of the co-founders of Huddle, a sector-agnostic incubator in Gurgaon, providing 360-degree support to multiple startups. He is also a co-owner of the international sports brand, Trusox, focussing his efforts on propelling sportspeople's performances with his products, within and outside India. Sanil is a national best-selling author, and one of the few Indian writers to be published in all forms of literature, with over 120 poems, 25 short stories, scripts and a novel to his name. An angel investor, he actively looks for startups solving need-based issues to get involved with and help through their evolution. His investments are sector agnostic and have made him venture into co-producing an award-winning Indie movie, Mantra. A sportsperson by passion, Sanil's principles off the field are inspired by those he learned on the field
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