Innovation Perspectives - A Common Purpose

This is the second of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’. Here is the next perspective in the series: by Yann Cramer Co-Creation Springs from a Sense of Common Purpose Too often the question of value extraction/retention is a dominant concern for all parties at too early a stage. For the sake of argument, let’s consider a supplier who has to develop a critical component for a customer who will integrate it in the design of a new finished product. The development process has not yet started that the customer plays its cards close to its chest with the conscious objective to retain as much of the value they will get from selling the finished product, and the supplier plays in a similar … Continue reading

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You Failed! Now What?

Last week, I had three conversations with three different companies. And each had a complaint about the same group of people: lawyers. If you think about it, innovators and lawyers have completely opposite objectives. Innovators want to grow the business. They believe that risk and failure are a natural part of the innovation process. Their mantra is “expansion.” Lawyers, on the other hand, want to guard the business. Their objective is to minimize risk and avoid failure. Their mantra is “protection.” But the issue isn’t really lawyers versus innovators. The issue is how to balance an organization’s need to protect the business while enabling it to expand at the same time. In my previous blog entry, I discussed how to redefine failure. The model proposed was to treat everything like an experiment. While using this mindset, failure only occurs when the experiment does not give you the feedback you …

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Cry or Take Action - Old Media versus New Media

Cry or Take Action by Adam Hartung Do you lament “the way things used to be?” I remember my parents using that phrase. Now I often hear my peers. And it really worries me. Success requires constant growth, and when I hear business leaders talking about “the way things used to be” I fear they are unwilling to advance with market shifts. For five years newspaper publishers have been lamenting the good old days, when advertisers had little choice but to pay high rates for display or classified ads. Newspaper publishers complain that on-line ads are too inexpensive, and thus unable to cover the costs of “legitimate” journalism. While they’ve watched revenues decline, almost none have done anything to effectively develop robust on-line businesses that can offer quality journalism for the future. Instead, most are cutting costs, reducing output and using bankruptcy protection to stay alive …

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ROI Not Enough, What's the Cost of the Problem?

Return on investment is a great tool to use in the sales process (and for innovation too). It demonstrates clearly that a company can make more (or save more) by using your product or service. The major problem with ROI on its own, however, is that it doesn’t necessarily create urgency. There’s a positive return on the investment, fine, but I could do that for dozens, even hundreds of things. How do I determine if the work & cost up front is still worth my time? How do I, the buyer, prioritize this? How do you, the seller, create urgency with your prospects to want, to need, that ROI? The answer often can be found in calculating the cost of the problem. Understanding there is a problem is just the first step. If you can quantify the problem, then calculate the cost of the problem …

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Listen to Your Subconscious Mind

If you study the lives of people who have had Eureka moments, you’ll discover that their breakthroughs almost always came after extended periods of intense, conscious effort. They worked, they noodled, they struggled. They abandoned all hope, they recommitted — and then the breakthrough came. And often at the most unexpected of moments. They weren’t buying lottery tickets at their local deli, hoping to win a breakthrough fortune. They were digging for treasure in their own back yard. Rene Descartes (Mr. “I-Think-Therefore-I-Am”) got the Scientific Method revealed to him in a dream. Elias Howe arrived at the final design for the lock stitch sewing machine in a dream. Richard Wagner got the idea his uber work, Das Rhinegold, while stepping onto a bus after long months of creative despair. In other words, the conscious mind works overtime in an attempt to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Unable to … Continue reading

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Botantists' Role in Television and the iPad

Botanists, Television, and the iPad by Paul Sloane Liquid crystals were discovered in 1888 and are now used in most TVs and computers (including the iPad). Liquid crystals represent a state of matter which exists between solid and liquid states. They were first discovered in 1888 by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer who was studying cholesterol at the Charles University in Prague. Reinitzer described three important features of cholesteric liquid crystals; the existence of two melting points, the reflection of polarized light and the ability to rotate the polarization direction of light. These discoveries remained of academic interest only until they were put to practical use some 80 years later when teams at RCA Labs and Kent State independently created early liquid crystal displays by manipulating the crystals with electrical charges. The displays first appeared in digital clocks and watches, but in 1984 LCD resolution improved to the point where it … Continue reading

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Innovation Perspectives - Adobe Labs Ideas

Tapping Users Minds, Adobe launches Adobe Labs Ideas This is the first of several ‘Innovation Perspectives’ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’. Here is the initial perspective in the series: by Janelle Noble Global software leader Adobe Systems, Inc. recently launched a new initiative to go outside of their organization to facilitate research and development on emerging products and incorporate user-feedback into their online developer community, Adobe Labs™, The new initiative, named Adobe Labs Ideas™, utilizes multiple interfaces to provide ideation capabilities for specific Adobe products, including Adobe AIR™, Adobe Flash Builder™, Adobe Flash Catalyst™, Adobe Flash Professional™, Adobe Flex™, Adobe LiveCycle ES™ and WorkflowLab™. For Adobe, the ability to collect and prioritize feature suggestions and feedback has the potential to dramatically improve workflow and increase … Continue reading

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