Will 2021 Be the Year of Do-It-Yourself Innovation?

In a year as unprecedented as 2020, the future in 2021 and beyond looks incredibly bright – for everyone.

The Fjord Trends 2020 is the fourteenth in a series of annual reports from Accenture Interactive. Using feedback from the company’s network of designers and creatives, the Fjord Trends 2020 report takes a look at emerging trends to anticipate that will shape business, consumer behavior and society. Of the seven trends mentioned in the report, the second is DIY innovation. This trend is intended to become part of the new normal in our post-pandemic world, but what does that mean for consumers?

Do-it-yourself innovation - turning the hustle into a small business

What is DIY innovation?

In a challenging situation, people often go into fight or flight mode. Some, however, know that the challenge ahead is not a matter of life and death. That’s usually a situation that requires the use of life hacks. Technology and devices, combined with quick thinking and creativity, provide a solution. For example, a temporary standing desk while working from home could be an ironing board.

Do-it-yourself innovation is felt at the employee and corporate level. Individuals working from home and quarantined in 2020 have begun to turn their passion projects into small businesses. In the meantime, large organizations must determine their role in innovation. What will be their approach to innovate and empower others?

Keys to effective DIY innovation

What makes for effective DIY innovation? The answers will vary depending on the organization and at the individual level. However, there are important spaces where innovation can be created, cultivated and shared with everyone.

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Businesswoman running a business with a laptop


There are two aspects of technology that play a major role in DIY innovation: platforms and devices.

Devices, the latter of the two, are the tools needed to deliver the message to the audience. Smartphones, laptops, desktop computers and tablets are among the technologies used to drive innovation.

It’s easy to think of a few platforms where they can creatively share their message. There are social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, video platforms like TikTok, and e-commerce solutions like Shopify that enable broad audience reach. You can sell your products and at the same time support social causes that are important to you.

In a COVID-19 landscape, many of these platforms have been repurposed to meet customer needs. The lack of live events has allowed large organizations to partner with influencers and create streaming events, such as concerts and gaming performances, that audiences can watch and reach anywhere in the world. Making such a pivot was certainly born out of necessity at this time. However, the popularity of these pivots and their reach prove that certain forms of DIY innovation, such as strengthening streaming services, are here to stay.

Ecosystem approach

Big companies and DIY innovations often initially clash at first glance. The DIY innovation is agile and tends to be sloppy. A large organization has the necessary resources to create a do-it-yourself innovation. What they need to do to ensure this happens is to prioritize co-creation and develop an ecosystem approach.

Within an ecosystem approach, more platforms could potentially be built and designed for third parties. This allows other parties, such as e-commerce sellers, to have another space where they can offer their offers and services. In turn, the large organization becomes part of the DIY revolution. Their company is seen as leading the way, listening to consumer needs and providing the tools needed to bring their innovations to life.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to become entrepreneurs out of necessity. The Fjord Trends 2021 study uses a great example of a fitness studio publicist. This publicist is out of work because gyms and exercise rooms are closed for public safety reasons. However, the publicist isn’t content to wait. Instead, the publicist uses the knowledge he has acquired from years of representing fitness brands and the technological resources available to launch an online workout platform.

There are other examples, too, including individuals who started a lateral move during quarantine that unexpectedly came to fruition. There are also people who have always dreamed of becoming business owners finally taking the plunge, and gig workers who generate multiple income streams to embrace full-time freelancing. More than 3.2 million applications were filed for employer identification numbers (EINs) in 2020, showing that Americans are starting small businesses in record numbers.

Craftman using a tablet PC


The do-it-yourself aspect of innovation is becoming apparent during this time. Many of these small businesses start in modest spaces ranging from a bedroom to the garage. At its core, entrepreneurship helps solve problems and meet needs.

What do people need now? What types of products and services can make their lives easier? What sets a small business apart and sets it apart from the competition? All these questions and more must be answered by the entrepreneur in the coming year to make 2021 a year of DIY innovation. Small businesses must prepare a business plan that describes what their business can (feasibly) do that is different from other businesses. The solution should be one that produces a “eureka!” inspires. moment – ​​​​an innovative solution for everyone.

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