the GoPro camera only exists because its creator, Nick Woodman, wanted to take photos of himself while surfing.
He strapped a disposable camera to his wrist, but soon realised the limitations of this setup: the camera was too shaky and the casings weren’t waterproof. He locked himself away and started work on a GoPro prototype. What began with a frustrating surf trip led to a company valued at USD$3 billion at the initial public offering in 2014.
I love this article (link below) that provides some really great examples of innovation that came from the consumer, not the companies involved in the sector or market.
Today we see lots of companies looking to develop a D2C (direct to consumer) proposition in order they can reduce the supply chain cost, mitigate risk, and get them closer to the consumer.
At last we're also starting to see some of the huge global companies like 'Unilever' bolting on 'innovation labs' in order to tap into that innovation whilst helping to bring new products/services to market.
Another sign of desperate innovation coming from retailers is that 'Walgreens and Nordstrom' have an idea: They want to let customers of other retailers and brands pick up and return items in their stores. Walgreens, for instance, is offering pick-up and return service on merchandise purchased online from Levi Strauss & Co., Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.
Meanwhile, LUX | Miami is offering luxury cars–including Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces–for one-day rental, if that’s what the customer wants, delivering an experience that’s not likely to be forgotten.
Now this what I call innovative and creative thinking, but it's clearly borne out of a reactive approach to dwindling footfall in those physical retail companies who thought that an eCommerce website was a sensible bolt on, rather than a way to really embrace changes in consumer behaviour.
Here's something else to ponder;
Social commerce will turn us all into shoppable product demos and our life into a catalogue of stylized products. It will also introduce new revenue streams, business models, marketing strategies and regulatory hurdles. Social currency is the fuel of the modern retail economy, and community is its killer app.
This amounts to total consumer investments of £3.2 billion in improving and inventing new products – more than 1.4 times the annual £2.2 billion that UK firms spend on research and development of consumer products.