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6 Sources of Innovative Ideas that Have Helped Our Business Skyrocket

Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business consultants to ever live, said that the only two things in business that create profits are marketing and innovation.  Thus, it’s no surprise that innovation is a major profit center, essential to any successful business, especially if you want to be the best in your industry. Innovate your industry and the rest will follow.

That being said, here are the 6 Sources of Innovative Ideas and how HUMAN Healthy Vending has capitalized on them in our healthy vending business

1. New Knowledge

Some of the most successful innovations are the products of “new knowledge.” Like the old adage says, knowledge is power. Take the computer for example. New knowledge in the fields of binary mathematics, computer programming, symbolic logic, etc., resulted in the creation of the computer. By using new knowledge and implementing it in your product, you can radically change your industry and even dominate it.

How we’ve done it: Here at HUMAN, we took new knowledge of technology and the future of vending and developed the first-ever healthy vending program in the US. Our machines come equipped with LCD screens that display nutritional information and advertisements, remote monitoring capabilities, LED lighting, and conveyor belts in place of coils. We capitalized on new knowledge of the obesity epidemic and the healthy food boom by stocking our machines with 100% healthy options.

2. Customers

What better way to innovate than by tapping the ideas of customers? After all, these are the people that are going to be buying your product or service. They are often the best source of information on the weaknesses of current products and can also identify unsolved problems with the product. By finding out what they actually fear and desire–instead of acting on what you think they fear or desire–will amount to huge gains.

How we’ve done it: For years, the vending industry was stagnant. Customers were forced to sacrifice healthy eating for convenience, and we recognized that something was wrong with that. We created a product where people were able to go to their gym, health club, office breakroom, etc. and have easy access to their favorite healthy foods.

3. Lead Users

Lead users are companies or noncompanies, customers or noncustomers–whose needs are far beyond those offered in current market trends. They innovate or invent because no one else will do it for them. Their needs motivate them to create solutions far before manufacturers think of them. Thus, lead users are powerful sources of innovation.

How we’ve done it: As the founders of HUMAN, we are lead users. We knew we wanted convenient access to healthy options, but there weren’t any. We took our needs to the next level and created the solution ourselves.

4. Emphatic Design

One of the major problems innovators face is that customers cannot always articulate their future needs. This is due to the fact that customers only explain their needs in terms of current products or services. They do not know the technological possibilities available.  Emphatic design is an idea-generating technique whereby customers are observed using existing products in their environments.

It’s basically anthropology for business purposes.

How we’ve done it: The idea of creating a healthy vending machine actually came to me as I observed a woman at the gym. She got off the treadmill, walked over to the vending machine, purchased a 20 oz. Coke, and got right back on the treadmill. It didn’t make sense. Here was someone who cared about her health by being at the gym, but chose the nearest drink option which completely defeated the purpose of a gym in the first place.

5. Invention Factories and Skunkworks

Most big companies have an R&D unit. This could cost upwards of thousands of dollars. R&D programs are a proven way to develop new innovations, but they aren’t the only way. Some companies bring in talented people with different backgrounds and experiences to solve a particular problem. Some use skunkworks, which are focused project teams that don’t interfere with the rest of the organization.

How we’ve done it: Our team is a mastermind. Each of us has different knowledge and experiences. When you have numerous capable brainpower working together for a common goal, the results are multiplied and innovation is born.

6. The Open Market of Ideas

Open market innovation involves the importing and exporting of ideas. It’s basically collaboration with outside sectors or corporations that help spur innovation. A lot of companies hire consultants who are experts in certain areas. No one person (or company) knows everything, so having a pair of fresh eyes to look at your business will prove useful.

How we’ve done it: We know we aren’t a one-man team, so that’s why we’ve partnered with numerous organizations and programs to stay true to our mission and keep up with the times. We have an endless fountain of information and ideas that help us innovate and grow.

Best in health,

Sean & Andy

Founders, HUMAN Healthy Vending

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Obesity in America: Fast Food & Fat Profits that Come with a Price

Check out this video on the obesity epidemic in America. You’ll be surprised at how fast food has changed the U.S. for the worst.

The video explains some interesting facts you can’t afford not to know.

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Biomedical Engineer who earned his degree from The Johns Hopkins University & Columbia University. Named one of Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 in 2013. Co-Founded America’s first Pure Play healthy vending company in 2003.
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