In this episode, we speak to Herman Singh from Future Advisory about innovation, creativity through adversity and his experience of product successes and failures.

Herman introduces us to his upbringing in Apartheid-ruled South Africa and how that has shaped him as an innovator, a challenger, a rulebreaker. He talks about how innovation thrives on adversity and how that is helping build businesses in South Africa.

We look at the value of testing an idea before you create a solution, or at least understanding the real problem you are trying to solve instead of just offering innovation as a solution.

People – and businesses – are creatures of habit, yet innovation is constantly happening. Although there are many ways to do the same thing differently, we choose to stick to our old ways. Why is this?

Why is failure seen as negative, when we can learn from each failure? Herman describes some of his failures, what he learnt from these, why it’s important to fail early and why it’s important to test your solution with the people you are are innovating for, in their environments. We also talk about why Herman’s other projects have been successful – what he did differently – and how startups are challenging the status quo, disrupting and innovating to solve real problems by understanding the market they are solving for.

If you are unfamiliar with design thinking, listen to episode 1, where we discuss the methods and mindsets of design thinking and clear up some of the terminology.