From creative destruction to fecund transformation

Capturing value is essential to ensuring the integration of an innovation on the market. This is the only way for it to find its lasting place. But what value is there to capture?

There are two essential ones, use value and market value:

    1. Use value is the proof that the innovation brings an answer to daily needs – until now unsatisfied by the already existant solutions.
    2. Market value corresponds to the proof that the innovation is bringing in, to the economic actors already in place, cold hard cash, that is to say cash enabling them to develop their market further or penetrate a new one.

It is very important to distinguish these two values because the stakes are not the same. And, they have to be analyzed separately.

If these two proofs are acquired, the innovator will have an easier job to get onto the market because it’s in the users’ interest – as much as the economic actors’ – to see him coming and will certainly help him to set up. Then, however, the right solution for these two values to come to maturity remains to be proposed.

It is interesting to note that this use value/market value balance is not really always so, in certain innovation strategy cases, mainly the ones seen in American and other GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) start-ups. Indeed, these give first and foremost preference to use value, focused on the target “USER FIRST” that this way enables massive and immediate development well beyond the borders of the country the innovation comes from.

Thus, once this proof is obtained and tangible for the mass of users adhering to the innovative solution, then the strategy is to move on to the massive task of raising funds – not any less massive than finding the users -, to acquire the second proof of value: integrating into the economic tissue, the market value. Thanks to the means obtained, at the innovator’s disposal, integrating the market becomes possible, not progressively so, but immediately and efficiently into the landscape, at the risk of rocking the boat of the established chain of values, flouting even the rules already in place. Uber, Air bnb illustrate this perfectly.

The difficulty that certain, even many, companies have with innovation, stems without doubt from their difficulty of judging – but above all of finding – a constructive and strong added-value balance between the use value and the market value. The former is too often perceived as a source of destruction for companies already on this market, whilst it should be perceived more as a source of necessary transformation at a time when our present-day contexts are uncertain.


Schumpeter talked of “creative destruction”, shall we finally manage to talk of “fecund transformation”?

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