Market testing

In innovation and entrepreneurship circles, it is often assumed that the market provides a sure test for the validity of a new project. The logic is apparently tight: if a product or service doesn’t sell, it means that it’s not needed, either because of a core design flaw, or inadequate positioning.

However, the very same circles encourage the development of pitching and sales skills, including a great buzz around storytelling – because this is how you gain the attention of your customers.

There is a gap in this logic that nags me. When a new venture fails, is it because their offer is inadequate – plagued by a fatal flaw or badly positioned – or is it because the people in charge of promoting it have insufficient skills in sales, and all the people in their target market have exhausted their funds and attention on other offers, less suitable, but better packaged?

Or should we then understand that innovation has nothing to do with the development of new services and products, but only the never-ending improvement of packaging techniques?