IDEO three lenses of innovation

IDEO – the people behind design thinking – have a wonderful model for product innovation. It’s called the three lenses of innovation. A good product opportunity must be:

  1. Desirable
  2. Feasible
  3. Viable

In health-tech the same three lenses apply but there is a clear priority ranking.

Always start with Desirable. What is the evidence that anybody wants this product?

The next cheapest question to address is financial viability. Can you make money from selling this product?

Technical feasibility comes last. It has huge financial overheads and consumes too much time.

For every rule there is an exception: I have had projects where the clinical need was so overwhelmingly obvious the only real question was whether technology had developed to the point of presenting a solution. That said, we did also address the desirability and feasibility topics in parallel.

[This article is part of the Innovation Snippets series]

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