D.I.Y. thinking

Are you looking for the next big innovation trend that just keeps getting bigger in business?

I'm certain that “Do It yourself” (D.I.Y.) is the next big innovation trend. D.I.Y. just gets bigger and bigger every day, and the exciting thing is that D.I.Y. is being applied not just for home improvements but also for business.

“How so?” You might be asking.

Do it yourself (D.I.Y) has been around for centuries. Growing up as a son of East European migrants to Australia, my life has revolved around the D.I.Y. projects that my family had. A D.I.Y. home extension, D.I.Y. build a sailing boat, D.I.Y. make your own wine, D.I.Y. build your own house…… the list goes on and on.

What drives so many people to think of D.I.Y. can be summarised in the following principles.

  • Ability (giving someone the ability to create something usually reserved for technically trained/ experienced people)

  • Free (or a massive cost reduction)

  • Control (ability to do it as you like)

  • Creative self-esteem (the reward of having created something by your own).

Innovative organisations are realising that this D.I.Y. trend can not only create a new market opportunity, in some instances, it can totally redefine an industry. In the past, I have blogged about how website design is now in the realms of the D.I.Y. market with major players WordPress and SquareSpace giving customers total content control, design ability and freedom without being tied to an expensive web designer.


Another favourite example of D.I.Y. applied to an unusual industry for me is GoAnimate. Creating computer animation for cartoons is a difficult task - it takes incredible artistic drawing skills, computer skills, storyboard skills and anything else you can think of to create a small animation.

GoAnimate thought that if they could deal with the difficulty, there would be countless people who would absolutely love to be able to create an animation. That's what this small team of animators set out to achieve: “Let's allow our clients to make their own animations rather than us making it for them”.

GoAnimate is a D.I.Y. animation website that enables a user to make their own animation videos for free. Sure, if you want to pay some money for the tricked up version, you can (and you probably will if you're like me), be warned this is an addictive activity and it's hard to stop once you get started. I'll let you discover what can be done on it in your own spare time. The main point is that their product is a great example of applying D.I.Y. thinking to business.

Innovating through D.I.Y. thinking can be made easier with some simple guidelines. Before you go out and create a D.I.Y. for your business/industry, consider some of the following:

  • Functionality - make sure it enables the user to do what they want, dealing with the highly technical aspects whilst making it simple (simple sophistication that eliminates the most technically difficult activities possible)

  • Control - give your customers as much control as possible

  • Design - give customisation options, yet also give them standard suggestions

  • Price - when possible give a free version, have a standard version and have premium versions for sale

  • Share/community - give your users/customers a platform so that they can share their creation with the world. Remember, that's part of why they do D.I.Y. Let them show off their project and they'll promote your product too.

Enjoy your D.I.Y.!



Nils Vesk

Founder of Ideas with Legs | Innovation speaker | consultant | author

nils vesk