Desirable — Feasible — Viable, Do we need a fourth element “Sustainable”?

Do we need an additional circle “sustainability”?
  • It must meet a customer need (desirable) otherwise it will not be bought.
  • There must be a technical solution (feasible) otherwise it stays a dream.
  • It must create revenue (viable) otherwise your company will go out of business sooner or later.
  • Sustainability is important
    it is one of the major challenges we are currently facing and the more attention we give it the likelier we succeed.
  • Sustainability is a buzz word
    it is very tempting to use it as often as possible.
  • It overlaps too much with the 3 other elements
    Desirability, feasibility and viability are three independent variables whereas sustainability has too many overlaps with the other three. Let me explain:
    The move towards sustainability
    - changes what people want (desirability)
    - changes legislation and willingness to pay (viability)
    - redirects resources towards sustainable technologies (feasibility)

    The DFV-model is so powerful because its elements are truly independent, it should not be watered down.
  • Keep it simple
    The DFV-model is successful because people can easily remember and implement it.
    The temptation is high to add more and more dimensions such as “sustainability” or “regulatory compliance” and so on.
    There is a high risk to pack too much into one model and to overload it.
What we do not want: overloaded diagram that shows everything and nothing
sustainability is a trend with a high influence on desirability and viability
sustainability is a filter that helps you choose from possibilities



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Thomas Siegrist

Thomas Siegrist


I share my thoughts on innovation principles and methods — because early stage innovation is my passion and my job.