Credit: Dave Lund
We ended April on a strong note with the wrap up of our first innovation project - Insurance Loyalty & Rewards. We obviously had to keep up with the strong momentum and therefore kicked off two new innovation projects in May.
If you've not had the chance to experience what Cookhouse Lab has to offer, each innovation project (various sprints) is facilitated by one of our our in-house Innovation Chefs utilizing our unique Innovation Methodology that combines lean innovation, design thinking, and a robust insurance/insurtech ecosystem.
"Coming up with an idea is the easy part. Bringing that idea to life is the difficult part"
This advice was given to me very early on in my career but still rings true every time I embark on a new innovation project. As innovation professionals can attest to, it is the vetted business value of an innovation that is one of the most difficult elements to overcome when applying for budget or devising a go-to-market strategy.
As the team worked towards the end of the project, the focus was on business casing, and the due diligence supporting the features of the newly created digital experience. All of which were in an attempt to deliver business value planned from the beginning of the project. Some examples of these can be seen below.
"The needs of insurers are not aligned to the needs of customers"
Often times, driven by profitability and shareholder return, corporations continue to find it a challenge to align their financial goals with customer needs. This opportunity, although identified early on in the project, continues to be a key theme for the project. The common situation that seemed to arise when comparing customer feedback to insurer feedback, was that insurers tend towards communicating by their products while customers tend to only understand insurance within their own context.
We have now passed the half way mark of our project journey. The team has made fantastic progress so far, iterating through the design thinking journey. Combining design thinking and lean startup methodologies, the team has completed version one of the insurance loyalty and rewards MVP based on end user feedback.
One of the first question we are often asked is, "Why was Cookhouse Lab founded?" We began with the concept of creating an ecosystem that brings insurers together to work towards our common goal of making insurance better.
With this vision in mind, we started our innovation journey by talking to many insurance experts and open-minded thinkers, met with innovation geniuses and successful InsurTech entrepreneurs and accelerators. Through this exploration, we realized the opportunity to make a true impact in the world of insurance was to introduce Open Innovation.
Innovation can be sparked through a variety of different ways. Sometimes, the spark comes from sheer necessity but other times, it can be born through an “Aha!” moment from a high-pressure environment.
Personally, I am a fan of innovation through the approach of “friendly competition.” Without some form of pressure (whether it be friendly or not), it is hard to innovate effectively.
During Cookhouse Lab’s Opening Innovation Day, our partner, Highline BETA curated six talented startup companies to participate in our first of many InsurTech startup challenges. Drop, a free loyalty and rewards app, which gives consumers of all lifestyles the ability to accumulate points and redeem rewards with debit and credit cards, was awarded as our first challenge winner!
A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of presenting my first venture capital (VC) pitch for a startup that I was working on called PetBot. Prior to the pitch, I was under the impression that I knew everything in putting together a successful pitch that would blow everyone away. Boy, was I wrong. Nearly every slide I spoke to was faced with brilliant and constructive critiques.
As a child, I was fortunate to have access to one of the most popular creative tools of my generation, LEGO. Many of my peers took the typical path of buying the box set and assembling the intended toy, but I tended to follow the more rebellious path by trading pieces with my friends so that we could each create our own custom masterpieces.