Growth strategy for innovation

What it takes for a business to go from idea to Market-ready start-up

The innovation process

The innovation process starts from a consumer problem and putting it to the test to end up with a validated business model. To not go through a process, will cost your company valuable time and money. First, find your customer, then create the product. Not the other way around.

1. Ownership: involve the right people and set up a workflow.

2. The Discovery Phase: put your business challenge to context.

3. Problem Fit: validating your customer problem.

4. Solution Fit: creating value & specific solutions.

5. Market Fit: validate your minimum viable product.

6. Lean Growth: grow a sustainable business model.

1. Ownership

If you are looking to run an innovation project, you need an insider leading your project. An intrapreneur! Someone who challenges the status quo with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Map out a timeline and process that guides your team(s) to a favorable outcome: validating or invalidating a business model. For this, you need an innovation strategist.

2. Discovery

In the discovery phase, your goal is to work towards a business challenge. To proceed you will need to investigate and understand market trends, the business industry and macroeconomics around your business challenge. Find the key customer segments to focus on.

To identify an initial customer segment, define a persona and customer journey. This will help you understand your consumer, and gives your challenge direction.

3. Problem Fit

With problem fit, we validate the customer segment, and their pains and gains around the problem your business is solving. Complete your persona’s and customer journeys. Through experimentation, the persona and customer journey is validated. The value proposition is analyzed and thoroughly validated with your consumer.

A best practice KPI can be, if 45% of your target segment acknowledges these pains and gains exist, you have a validated customer problem.

4. Solution Fit

Now the problem is defined and validated, it is time to work on a solution. In this phase, you are going to define the value you are bringing to customers by designing actual solutions. Start wire-framing, or create a minimal viable product.

Validate your solution with your target audience, and adapt where necessary. If 40% of your target segment would be unhappy without the solution, claim it to be validated. Keep your solution simple, stupid. Adding extra features is often not helpful. A specific problem requires a specific solution. In the growth phase, you can still expand your services.

5. Market Fit

The best guide to validate market fit is through experiment design. With your solution in hand, take it to the market by performing small tests. This can be from going out on the streets with your wireframes, to running a Facebook ads campaign pointing at a landing page explaining your product.

Find out if users would repeatedly use your solution and recommend it to others. An important metric here is retention. Users need to come back to your product and be sad if they would lose the service. Ending this phase, you should have a validated business model and a go-to-market plan for your new solution which you are now going to create. If your idea is not validated, take it back to the drawing board.

6. Lean Growth

It is really exiting to take your idea to the market. Start by onboarding the consumers you first contacted to validate your solution. They are ideal first customers. To build a scalable startup, you need a sustainable business model and survive by getting customers.

I have a set of designed tools I use during workshops or ideation.

Feel free to download and browse the PDFs.


Tom added a new dimension to our online experimentation process. We were able to get fast, concrete results in days that would otherwise take us weeks internally.

Marketa Kadeckova
– Innovation Manager at ING Prague



Digital projects from ideation to acceleration with an obsession for online human behavior. Understanding cases from top to bottom, looking for growth opportunities is my focus.

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2020 © Tom De Moor