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.

PlusD2 Principal Stephen Melamed will 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.

If you missed the first three articles you can read them HERE.

Part Four – New Value

I hope we can all agree that there are multiple potential levels of innovation; everything from an incremental improvement to an existing product or interface to a truly groundbreaking, disruptive discovery, and everything else that may fall in between. The key is creating new value through the innovation process where it did not previously exist. Value could take on many forms, the most common being commercial value; however, there could also be social, technological, environmental, governmental… the list could go on. Creating new value where it did not previously exist in order to improve the lives of the people it touches is what’s most significant.

What does it mean to innovate?

Individuals and commercial enterprises may all have their own ideas and methodologies to approach this topic. A few examples of how some organizations define innovation –

_Accenture: Innovation is the discovery and execution of pioneering ideas that create new value and a competitive advantage.

_Cargill: Innovation is converting knowledge and insight into solutions that create distinctive value.

_Dow: Innovation generates novel and valuable ideas, or applies existing ideas in new ways; applies creativity to solve problems or to develop new or improved products, processes or services.

At the core of all of these respected definitions is having an outcome that is novel and delivers on the promise of creating new value. Someone or something needs to profit (in the broadest sense of the word, not merely commercial) from this new benefit. Needs-based innovation approaches any human-centered investigation through the lens of empathy. Identifying and articulating latent or unmet needs in order to improve the experience or interaction. Always keeping in mind, what is the real benefit to the user that the product, interface or service is attempting to offer. It can be easy to loose sight of this when the product only addresses matching features within the competitive landscape.

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 our team at

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

Do you have any work-arounds that you use on a regular basis? Leave your comments below.