Lab Notes

Innovation Is Not Art On The Walls

When times are tough for businesses, it’s easy to think of innovation like decorative chairs or abstract art for the walls: nice to have but not essential.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Challenging times are the ideal times to disrupt your business and change course before your competition beats you to it—and sitting still is not an option.

At GoKart Labs, we have a service offering called Iteration Zero. From 10,000 feet, Iteration Zero pushes businesses to avoid wasteful spending and focus on the road ahead.

At ground level, we get our hands dirty right alongside your team by researching your specific business problem. Our specialized team learns to think like your customers, your competitors, and measure everything against the very real process challenges you face.

After a few days ‘think-tanking’ with you, we go away to build the plan. Soon after we’ll present you with innovative, concrete, revenue-generating concepts to grow your business.

Finally, we work closely with you to assess risks. We especially look at your organization’s willingness to explore new paths and land on a realistic budget to bring a new idea to life.

Don’t Waste Money to Make Crap

After managing more digital projects than I can count, I get heartburn every time a company invests time and money without a comprehensive plan. It’s an unsavory dish companies cook up with this unfortunate recipe:

  1. Identify a need
  2. Half bake a solution
  3. Sprinkle on a random budget
  4. Mix up a team to execute
  5. Season to disappointment

Let’s take a really common example: creating a blog.

So Company Co decides they want a blog, because their competitors have one. They ask around. How much could it possibly cost?

Ultimately, their budget reflects what they’re willing to spend—or think it should cost—rather than on what needs to be invested. They hire a developer to build the blog to fit within that budget.

They launch it, but nobody reads their content. Company Co now realizes no one thought through how to drive traffic to it, or how to position it for success internally. They wasted money and time.

Sadly, this happens all the time.

So how can companies avoid this?

If they are working with GoKart, we encourage them to keep pushing themselves to innovate, but do so more strategically. We help companies answer questions like: Why do we need a blog? Who will write it, and what should it say? How will we tie it into our marketing plan? How are we planning to measure success? What IS success?

And perhaps the biggest question: Do our customers really want a blog?

Iteration Zero and our team at GoKart Labs help you think through the big picture – starting with asking what your customers want from you – and make smart investments in innovation. We help your team think differently and our recommendations will challenge you to consider new paths.

Don’t worry, we’ve done this dozens of times for our clients… and for ourselves, and we’ll provide you with a detailed roadmap.

In the end, we want you to consider how innovation fits with your company’s success. Sprucing up the office with fancy chairs in the lobby can provide a surface impression of success, but we want to dig into the foundations of your business, invent with you, and help ensure solid footing on your path forward.

Have business challenges to think through? Want to hear more about our capabilities? Reach out and let’s discuss how we can work together to grow your business.

Elli Rader creates, shoots (photos), curates, mentors, motivates—and she's a crackerjack strategist to boot. Her keen insight fine-tunes for our teams and clients alike. Along for the ride: kids, Dobby the dog and her All-City bike.