A few weeks ago, I had the honor of giving a talk on disruptive innovation and value proposition at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival. Attending the festival was a pleasure in and of itself; the largest held in the UAE thus far, the event spanned two days gathered some of the best and brightest business innovators for insightful conversations and lively lectures on topics such as social entrepreneurship, Fintech, and creative economies.  

 

My lecture was scheduled at the start of the Festival’s second day. As it began, I asked my attendees to ask themselves a simple question:

 

What value does my/our product or service offer the customer?

 

Too often, I’ve found that enthusiastic entrepreneurs – and even companies – are so wrapped up in the development of a project that they forget the necessity of pitching it as having value to a customer. In order to be successful and sustainable, a project needs to either solve a customer’s problem or help them gain something they want. Even a seemingly good product idea remains a hypothetical until consumers buy into it; thus, projects which fail to fill a need will ultimately flop. In my talk, I further noted that -perhaps counterintuitively – disruptive technologies and ideas are not exceptions to this rule. To enact real change, disruptive technologies need to have a real appeal to consumers and be easy to assume. Contrary to what one might think from the name, disruptive innovation is ideally non-disruptive to adopt.

 

My profound thanks goes out the organizers of the Sharjah Festival for inviting me to participate, as well as to the many creative thinkers I met at the event. The UAE is a font for entrepreneurial passion, and I’m glad to be able to contribute to its development by acting as a SME advisor to rising entrepreneurs. For more information about my work and my professional contact details, please visit my company site at SustainLeadership.com.

 

To learn more about the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival, please visit its website.

Center graphic courtesy of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival.