Visual Funnel

See ideas moving forward.

No matter how complex your stage-gate funnel is ⁠— our visual funnel can boil it down to the overview you need.

Visual FunnelVisual Funnel

Why is the stage-gate process important?

The stage-gate process helps you avoid wasting resources. It helps you make sure that every dollar you spend is going toward building something that will actually help your customers.

It also helps you avoid spending money on things that aren't worth doing. It prevents you from investing in projects that won't succeed.

It helps you keep track of all the different ideas you have. It keeps you focused on the ones that matter most. And it lets you know when you're ready to move forward with a project

How does a visual funnel help?

Nothing beats the bird's eye view of how various ideas and projects are moving along. No matter if you're using Ideanote as a product innovation platform within a single department or as idea collecting software for the whole company, we help you customize and share your innovation funnel with ease so people can always check up on individual ideas or view how many submissions have made it through to implementation.

What does it take to go through the innovation stage-gate funnel?

Innovation is a key driver of growth at companies today. The ability to innovate is critical to success in today’s competitive environment. Yet, despite its importance, innovation remains elusive for many organizations.

To successfully navigate the innovation stage-gate, you need to focus on three things: defining the problem, creating a solution, and validating the solution. These steps are essential to ensuring that your innovation goes beyond the initial concept phase into the next stages of development.

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the process by which new ideas become products, services, processes, or business models. In other words, innovation is about turning ideas into reality.

Innovation has been defined as “the act of bringing something new into existence” (Drucker, 1956). Innovations are often thought of as being unique to a particular company or industry, but they actually occur across all industries.

Why is Innovation Important?

Innovation drives economic growth. According to the World Economic Forum, innovation accounts for 70 percent of global GDP growth. This means that if we don't innovate, our economy will stagnate.

Innovation also creates jobs. Overall, resources invested give a return on investment and help create jobs.

Finally, innovation helps create new markets. By introducing new products or services, businesses can reach customers who would not have otherwise purchased their product or service.

There are four major types of innovations:

New Products – New products include everything from consumer electronics to medical devices. Examples of new products include the iPhone, tablet computers, and self-driving cars.

New Services – New services include anything from online banking to mobile payments. Examples of new services include Uber, Apple Pay, and Amazon Prime.

New Business Models – New business models include everything from subscription-based services like Netflix to co-branded credit cards. Examples of new business models include Airbnb, Spotify, and Facebook Credits.

New Processes – New processes include everything from 3D printing to cloud computing. Examples of new processes include the use of virtual assistants, the automation of customer support calls, and the adoption of social media platforms.

Innovation is hard. Most people think it's easy because they've seen others do it. But most people don't understand how difficult it really is.

Successful innovation requires a combination of creativity, discipline, and perseverance. You'll find out why this is true when you read "How to Create Breakthrough Ideas" later in this guide.

How Do Companies Get Started With Innovation?

Companies get started with innovation in one of two ways:

They start with a problem. They identify a problem in their industry or business that needs solving. Then they come up with an innovative solution to solve that problem.

Or they start with an opportunity. They identify an existing trend or gap in their industry or business. Then they come up an innovative way to capitalize on that opportunity.

When companies first start innovating, they usually follow the first approach. However, over time, many companies switch to the second approach. Why? Because starting with a problem gives them a clear focus. And focusing on a problem gives them clarity about what they need to accomplish.

But there's a downside to both approaches. If you're starting with a problem, then you may end up having no idea where to begin. That makes it harder to figure out what to build.

If you're starting with an opportunity, then you may end with too much to do. That makes it harder for you to prioritize your efforts.

So which approach should you take? The answer depends on your company and its culture.

If you want to innovate, but your company doesn't encourage it, then you probably shouldn't start with a problem. Instead, you should start with an opportunity.

If you want to innovate, and your company encourages it, then you probably should start with a problem.

You can also combine the two approaches. Start by identifying a problem. Then look for opportunities. Or start with an opportunity. Then look for problems. 

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