PlusD2 principcal Stephen Melamed is doing an excellent blog series on Innovation in the Product Development World. You can read article one below and we welcome your comments and thoughts.

Innovation. At PlusD2 it’s a word we pride ourselves on.

It goes into our work with great care and expertise in the hopes of providing you with an end result that is just that…innovative.

We’ll be sharing over a series of eight articles PlusD2’s theory and process of innovation as it relates to the product development and industrial design world.

This is part one and it is called Serendipity.

There is certainly much to be said and explored around the topic of innovation, much has already been written, discussed, and blogged about regarding the best methods to achieve desirable outcomes. There is no shortage of innovation gurus who claim the path to success is through their methodology. There are numerous valid approaches to innovation, many of which may take the seekers down a path culminating with successful results.

I believe, the one dirty little secret of innovation that is not often discussed, is the fact that no matter what method or process cross-functional teams choose to use to attempt to achieve breakthrough results, there is always one necessary unpredictable ingredient involved in the successful outcome – serendipity.

Having a fortunate happenstance occur during the investigative process, whether it be for new product development or service based activities, is essential to achieving valuable results. Nobel prize winner, Jacques Monod (Biochemist), declared “chance favors the prepared mind.” Once individuals have been trained in the process and methodologies of how to approach achieving innovative results, it is paramount to the success of that inquiry that at some point in the process, fortunate happenstance intervenes. One essential quality for being successful within the investigation process is being able to recognize seemingly disparate elements uncovered during the search for finding latent needs. Individuals and interdisciplinary teams that are well-versed in the process tend to become better and better over time for being able to connect the dots; dots that were previously seen as only individual data points.

Innovation may take different forms, beginning with incremental improvements to existing products or services, ranging forward too far-reaching previously unidentified solutions. The key aspect of real innovation is creating new value where it did not previously exist.

What is your take on both innovation and serendipity within the design industry?

I’d welcome your comments and thoughts…

PlusD2 is an Innovative Product Development Company based out of Chicago and Columbus. Our motto – The Art of Creation and the Science of Imagination.

If you’d like to speak to us about a product development project we’d love to hear from you. Email the team at