When it comes to innovative software products, many companies think that they need to start from scratch. This is not always the case. In fact, it is often more efficient to create innovative software products by taking advantage of existing solutions. By adapting them to achieve new goals and meet new needs, development teams can create something highly innovative and delight users.
How to innovate with existing solutions
An existing solution is a software product or service that is already working and serving users' needs. It can be an app that has primarily served one function for a number of months or years, but due to some change on the market, it might be beneficial to expand its scope or even entirely change its focus. With innovative ideas and a highly skilled team of experts, existing solutions can be adapted and built upon to create something completely new.
For example, Airbnb started out as a simple website for people to list their apartments for short-term rentals. However, it quickly evolved into the vibrant marketplace it is today. It now allows users to rent vacation homes, unique experiences, and even book flights. All of this was made possible because the team at Airbnb took an existing solution and adapted it to create something innovative and entirely new.
Expanding to new market segments
An example of innovative software development based on existing solutions is when companies take existing products and technologies, and expand their reach to new market segments. Take Slack – the messaging application for teams. It was originally intended for corporate use cases but has since been adapted to serve other types of user groups such as schools, nonprofits and small businesses.
Pivoting existing solutions to create innovative software products is something that companies have used and achieved great success. For example, YouTube was originally meant to become a video-based dating site. Instead, the team behind the platform decided to pivot and focus on streaming videos instead. This innovative approach was a huge success and made YouTube one of the most popular websites in the world.
Shopify has a similarly interesting story. It was originally designed to be a snowboard shop online. When it did not see much success, the team behind it decided to pivot and focus on creating innovative ecommerce software instead. This idea has made Shopify one of the leading ecommerce platforms in the world.
Creating innovative features
Another way to create innovative software products is through innovative features. Think about the popular app Uber, which has incorporated innovative features such as carpooling and delivery services on top of their existing and already successful solution.
An important aspect of technological innovation is innovative design. Companies like Google and Apple have been able to build unique user experiences by combining existing technologies with innovative design elements. Innovating with design is both the obvious thing to do and very difficult. It requires a creative team of designers and developers working closely together.
Other examples of adapting existing solutions
There are plenty of innovative companies who took existing solutions and created something new. Take Google Maps for example – they used the core mapping capabilities of existing technologies to create something entirely innovative. They added features like turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic updates, and satellite images. This allowed them to become the leader in online mapping services.
The benefits of using existing solutions
As we can see from Google Maps’ example, there are many benefits of adapting existing solutions to create innovative software products. Firstly, it is faster and more cost-effective. Companies do not have to reinvent the wheel – they just need to put their innovative spin on it. Secondly, existing solutions are usually well tested and reliable, so they can be quickly integrated into new products without compromising quality or security.
Existing solutions are often open source, meaning a business will not have to pay for licenses or worry about copyright infringement. And finally, an existing user base and user data can be incredibly helpful in gaining traction. On top of that, development teams can go to market faster and reduce the time to develop innovative features.
What may be needed in the innovation process
Creating innovative software products based on existing solutions requires a highly skilled team of experts who are able to identify new ideas for using existing technology. This requires creativity, knowledge of the existing solutions and a deep understanding of customer needs and market trends. Finding the right people is essential for success – they should be creative and knowledgeable, proactive, curious, and have the skills to turn innovative ideas into reality.
Filling the skill gap through staff augmentation
If a business is looking to increase their innovative capabilities, they should consider staff augmentation. It allows companies to access top talent in different areas quickly and affordably. It can bridge the gap between the innovative ideas and turning them into successful products.
Because staff augmentation is highly flexible and allows for affordable short-term projects, it is perfect for riskier business initiatives and experiments.
Achieving competitive advantage through innovative software and business models
Innovative software products do not necessarily have to start from scratch. They can be created quickly and cost-effectively by leveraging existing solutions. With a highly skilled team of experts on hand, innovative features can be added on top of existing technologies to create something entirely new. Achieving this requires creativity, expertise and an innovative mindset. By combining existing solutions with innovative ideas companies can gain competitive advantage and delight their customers.