2022 goal: Don't get eaten by a crocodile




The Top 22 Innovation Pitfalls to Avoid in 2022.


Like hungry crocodiles and quicksand pits, healthcare business pitfalls are around every corner. Some hidden, some in plain sight. But you can avoid them if you know what to do.


Over the holidays, I decided to goof off a little.


I went old school. Like 1982 Atari 2600 old school and played the classic game, Pitfall!



Remember that game?


Pitfall! follows the saga of the game’s hero, Pitfall Harry, as he bushwhacks and crushes his way through untamed jungle pitfalls to collect treasures.



All while trying to avoid being eaten by crocodiles, bitten by snakes, stung by scorpions and wiped off the map by swinging vines, quicksand, tar pits, rolling logs and out-of-control campfires. 


After seeing one too many crocodiles, I turned off the game and started thinking about — you guessed it — healthcare business pitfalls.


The stage of your healthcare business doesn't matter. Early stage, corporate innovators and midmarket companies all can fall prey to pitfalls. 


Just one misstep can get a healthcare organization stuck in quicksand — or worse.


But with a good navigator, like Pitfall Harry, you can avoid 22 treacherous healthcare business pitfalls in 2022. No vine swinging or bushwhacking required. 


Communication Pitfalls


Bad communication strategies are like bad directions. Right into quicksand.



  • Avoid pouring money into marketing without a clear, compelling offer for a specific audience. If you haven’t identified your value proposition, your leads will not convert.
  • Don’t assume inbound marketing is your end-all solution. Inbound once was an innovation, but there are other strategies out there today that may be a better fit for you.
  • Don’t forget to educate your markets on the problems you’re solving — especially in early stages. Because someone who knows they have a problem, versus someone who doesn’t, is more likely to use your innovation.
  • Don’t just focus on new leads. A negative post-purchase attitude by early adopters is one of the main reasons for market failure.
  • Stress technical and sophisticated features versus brand names or product lines.
  • Beware of messaging misalignment among early and mainstream markets.
  • Beware of brand confusion if you have multiple brands in the portfolio.
  • Positioning and messaging remain difficult for radical innovations. In fact, sometimes, this messaging just sucks and gets/keeps you stuck.


Timing Pitfalls


This could be you. Read this before you jump into the pit.



  • Do not automatically default your market entry timing to when the product is ready.
  • Do not believe the myth: First-to-market doesn’t automatically equal a competitive advantage or sure profits.


Targeting Pitfalls


You don’t want to miss your mark.



  • Avoid hiring an army of face-to-face sales people without marketing. They own the entire sales funnel. And, when you scale and add more to the sales force without marketing insights, you increase your customer acquisition costs. 
  • Commercialization decisions impact market segments differently. In fact, the early market segment often represents radically different characteristics from the mainstream market.
  • A one-size-fits-all targeting strategy is not an effective targeting approach. 


Product Pitfalls


Like petting a snake in the forest, these pitfalls can bite your healthcare company in the rear.



  • Do not customize the product based on individual customer wants/needs that may not be commercially viable.
  • Your minimum viable product (MVP) must include technical and sophisticated features required by early adopters.
  • Over developing the product with features and functionality that customers do not want/need will result in launch delays, costly over development, and the likelihood of wasted resources.
  • Beware of inherent product bias that can be a barrier to success.
  • Being in business several years does not mean that you've achieved product/market fit. 


Pilot Pitfalls


You really want to nail the landing in the early stages. But not like this.



  • Do not get stuck in pilot purgatory.
  • Make sure pilot companies have the authority and budget to buy your solution at the end of the pilot.
  • Do not leave your pilot to chance. Create a pilot agreement and plan that balances the risk and the benefit of the pilot. 


The Biggest Pitfall of Them All


  • Don't get too comfortable or lazy with your innovation strategy. If you aren’t agile, and ready for anything and everything, your innovation is going to become somebody’s lunch.


Avoid Being Eaten by a Crocodile in 2022


Be a pitfall crusher. If you're an innovation treasure seeker, let me help you reach your goal to avoid the top 22 pitfalls for 2022 and get your healthcare innovation unstuck. Learn about the Health Innovator’s Edge and increase your profits by 10-30%.


Happy New Year!

--Dr. “Pitfall Crusher” Roxie