According to Nielsen’s recent Global Survey of New Products Sentiment, consumers in emerging markets such are more eager to try new products than their counterparts in North America, who exhibit "trepidation."
"80% of Latin American respondents agreed that they like it when manufacturers offer new innovations, well above the global average of 63%," writes James Russo, SVP Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen. "Comparatively, less than one-fourth (23%) of respondents in Europe and 29 percent of respondents in North America consider themselves early purchasers of new products."
This partially explains a dramatic shift of where the world's innovations are coming from. According to Nielsen, Canada was the 5th most innovative country in 2008. But by 2012, it dropped off the list, replaced by France and beaten by China and Russia. Among developed markets, only the US and Great Britan retained their positions for innovation over the four years.
Has Canada shied away from innovation due to fear of failure?
"It’s notoriously difficult for a new product to be successful," Russo affirms. "Research suggests that about two out of every three products are destined to fail regardless of where they’re launched. In addition, more than half of all products launched won’t sustain their year-one sales performance in year two."
Canadians have a reputation of shying away of risks, which has historically both helped and harmed our economy. In this case, it's not a good thing: innovation is a necessary component of a successful startup ecosystem. We need less trepidation and more courage, more hunger—because failure is not the end, it's merely a step toward success.