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You Need Bread Instead of Flour or Wheat When Hungry2021.02.18

This topic was not about food, of course, it was about product development and product innovation. The topic of this article means that we should provide users with products that users really need, not intermediate products. This of course is for Internet products. How to understand the real needs of users and realize product innovation is a real topic for every product manager and company management team.

Regarding entrepreneurial innovation, the famous political economist Joseph Schumpeter believes that entrepreneurial innovation is more about transforming new technologies into commercial results, that is to say, innovation is mainly at the application level, mainly through new technologies, the new method recombination from some of the original production factors to improve efficiency. This is the process of business innovation.

And Zhang Lei of Hillhouse Capital believes in the book “Value”: Under the new consumption environment, actually, demand determines supply and supply leads demand simultaneously. We cannot just talk about the thinking of Internet users. It is really important to solve user pain points, but this just emphasizes the demand side. In fact, businesses proactively provide supply to stimulate new demand, and supply running ahead of demand may also be a better business opportunity. For example, iPhone and Tesla electric vehicles are first supplied and then demanded.

To illustrate this point of view from Schumpeter vividly, let us use two products developed by MeSign Technology as example. Email is transmitted and stored in cleartext, which is very insecure, especially now that the email service has been migrated to the cloud. Users know that they need to encrypt emails, so they can purchase and apply for an email certificate from the CA, and then configure the certificate for use in an email client that supports S/MIME email encryption. This is the standard practice that can be found in the current market. However, due to the complexity of S/MIME encryption technology, this solution is difficult to promote and hard to use for non-IT users.

We should return to the origin of user needs. What users need is email encryption, not email certificate. Therefore, we developed the MeSign App, an encrypted email client software that integrates email management and email certificate automation. By building a cloud cryptography infrastructure, we recombined the two production factors: email client and email certificate to realize automatic email encryption, this is a business innovation that directly meets the real needs of users, instead of requiring users to combine production factors for this demand. This is also an innovative application combining "cloud" and "client".

Let us talk about document e-signature. The current e-signature service market is very hot, indicating that everyone knows that documents require electronic signatures. However, there are two types in the current electronic signature solutions market: One is the solutions from PDF reader manufacturers. Users need to apply for a document signing certificate from a CA, and then configure the certificate to be used in a reader that supports certificate digital signature. This solution still has the problem of managing the signing certificate and using the signing certificate correctly, including users need to find a timestamp service. Therefore, this solution is also difficult to promote and hard to use. Let us return to the origin of user needs. What users need is a document e-signature, not a signing certificate. It is precisely because of this problem that a second type of solution appears on the market - cloud e-signature service, which allows users to upload documents or contracts to be signed to the e-signature service platform, and the platform is responsible for everything. Users do not need to care about the signing certificate. This is a very good solution that solves the problems of the first type of solution. However, this solution brings a new problem - how to protect the privacy and security of user documents. What the user need is the document to be signed instead of having to leak the documents to the e-signature platform before it can be signed.

In order to truly solve user problems and meet user needs, MeSign Technology has developed an e-signature tool software, which is now integrated in the MeSign App, and will launch an independent tool software - MeSignDoc App, it integrates document reading, digital signature, signature validation, signature display and signing certificate automation. By building a cloud cryptography infrastructure, we recombined the two production factors: document reader and signing certificate to realize automatic document digital signature, this is a business innovation that directly meets the real needs of users, instead of requiring users to combine production factors for this demand. This is also an innovative application combining "cloud" and "client".

As we can be seen from the above two examples, don’t think that only invention is innovation. Enterprise innovation is more at the application level, mainly by recombining some of the original production factors through new technologies and new methods to improve effectiveness. Transform new technologies into commercial results and solve problems faced by users. This is the innovation that SMEs are truly capable of achieving, and it is also the innovation that is generally missing currently.

Regarding Zhang Lei’s point of view, we believe that MeSign email encryption solution provides a new product and a new species in the current solution market. It stimulates new demand by providing innovative products, not only makes peoples like encrypted email, but also enables peoples to re-recognize email’s value, let the "old" email rejuvenate, and provide new options to meet the users' increasing privacy protection communication needs, because email is a truly decentralized distributed communication application that it can solve the privacy protection problems caused by highly centralized chat and social applications that people currently rely on.

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