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Cannie Tsang, Head of Group Marketing, JOS
Cannie Tsang Head of Group Marketing

Cannie Tsang leads the transformation of marketing at JOS, developing and executing all-rounded, result-oriented initiatives for the entire organization. She uses her cross-discipline marketing experience in information technology, in-depth business intelligence knowledge and strong market research skills to identify opportunities, architect strategies to enter new markets and develop metrics to measure success.

Key Takeaways
Stop filtering ideas; Frame the problem and know your target users
Ideas that rock, solve easily
Ideas love challenge-driven people
Successful innovation needs research
March 09, 2018

What Young Minds Taught Us about Life-changing Innovation

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Innovation is never done in isolation. It also requires a couple of factors in place.

These factors often differ from case to case. However, based on what we witnessed recently at the Innovation Awards 2018, below are some key insights

Stop filtering ideas

While the process of ideation is becoming more refined these days, it still needs a spark of genius. This can happen anywhere, to anyone and at anytime.

When ideas occur, they should not be filtered. Nothing is impossible. If Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos had thought space travel with reusable rockets was too ludicrous, we would not be witnessing the privatization of space travel today.

Frame the problem and know your target users

Good ideas improves lives. Keeping in mind whom you are trying to solve the problem for and the benefits they will gain can help it to take off.

For example, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia created Airbnb because of the high rent of their loft. So, they came up with the idea of sharing available living spaces.

But why this neat idea became earth-shattering was because it resonated well with the audience--budget or cost-conscious travelers and students who could not afford an expensive hotel room. Now the hotel industry is on the defensive as a result.

Ideas that rock, solve easily

What makes a good idea great is sustainability and being simple to implement.

The recent Innovation Awards Hong Kong 2017-2018, co-organized by JOS, illustrated these two aspects. The competition was about coming up with ideas to help elderly care and healthcare.

The finalists were able to crystallize the gaps in the current situation, rethink the problem with today's technology, and create simple, sustainable solutions that were easy to adopt.

Ideas love challenge-driven people

In truth, everyone can think of a good idea. The difference between one who thinks it and Mark Zuckerberg is someone who can take an idea and go on this long journey to create a solution from it. And remain unfazed when dealing with the various challenges along the way.

It is why we selected the Hong Kong Polytechnic team for creating a Finger Exercise Device for Early Stage of Osteoarthritis Patients at the Innovation Awards. The idea was simple, but the potential was enormous. It tackles a common ailment that will become more pronounced as Hong Kong population ages quickly and lives longer.

However, what made them stand out among their peers was the team's ability to plan, address the various challenges, conduct extensive research on their own and come up with a working solution that the target audience will love.

The champion team from Hong Kong Polytechnic with their Finger Exercise Device
The champion team from Hong Kong Polytechnic
with their Finger Exercise Device

Successful innovation needs research

Turning an idea into a solution requires the right process and knowledge. You either learn it yourself or employ those who know about it.

At the Innovation Awards, finalists took pains to do their research with their target audience, although many were not doctors themselves. The judging panel, which had doctors on it, was particularly impressed with how much thinking went behind each idea to make it market ready.

It is a journey that JOS undertakes daily for its clients, whom we see as partners. We examine our customers' business concerns, and challenges before bringing together the right technologies to offer an innovative solution--not the other way around.

The right environment matters

Driving innovation is admittedly not easy. You can have the best idea, the right mindset and the right people, but you need resources and support. It is one of the factors that drove JOS to support the Innovation Awards.

It is also why we welcome the Hong Kong SAR Government's recent announcement of adding another HK$50 million for innovation in areas of biotechnology, AI, and fintech. Coupled with financial support and business advice from business players like JOS, the funding can help our brightest minds to innovate bravely.

After all, the winners will be Hong Kong as a whole.