Monthly Archives: May 2010

When is the 'Kodak Moment'?

The familiar old saying “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?” was a fun philosophical topic for a lot of us to discuss/debate in our younger years. Well Kodak, a company that I thought was all but ready to be buried alongside Polaroid as a 20th ...

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Idea and Innovation Management Tool Roundup

The Issue: The space for idea and innovation management software is becoming increasingly crowded and it is difficult to quickly understand who the main players are and how they are different. The Background: On the surface, idea management companies seemed similar to me and were hard to tell apart. After having spent 8 weeks immersed in the space talking with ...

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Innovation Failure Points – Inside-Out Innovation

In a continuing series of posts I am examining a number of consistent innovation failure points, under the thinking that learning from failure is much more instructive than learning from success, since often success is situational, while repeated failures can be instructive. In the first two posts, we reviewed failing by starting poorly, and failing by neglecting to closely link ...

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Is Dumb the New Smart?

How dumb is your business? At the risk of drawing the ire of corporate elitists, I submit to you that the dumber your business is, the better off you are. The truth is that great companies are those which can thrive and prosper in the absence of sophistication. As odd as it sounds, businesses that are not dependent on smart ...

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What business are you in?

Overcoming Identity – Apple & HP by Adam Hartung “What business are you in?” is one of the most common business questions asked. People usually want a simple answer, like “I make widgets” or “I provide widget services.” A simple answer allows people to easily cubbyhole the business, and remember what it does. And many think it provides for a ...

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Open Innovation + Rapid Incubation = Power

Recently, I have read several interesting articles on how companies develop new projects based on rapid incubation or fast prototyping practices. Anthony Townsend, Director of Technology Development at the Institute for the Future wrote about rapid incubation and lightweight innovation models in this article, Moving Beyond Open Innovation. I agree with Townsend that the approaches he touches upon seem to ...

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It's Time for CRM to Go Social

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is just a fancy name for a customer data management system. CRM systems don’t do anything for most people as a customer. Now it’s time for CRM to get social. Remember 8 years ago every VCs were pouring money into CRM (Customer Relationship Management), I never liked that word. It is a fancy name for some ...

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Building a Better Pizza

How Much Can Innovation Sell Pies? by Robert F. Brands with Jeff Zbar First, there was pizza – round dough, with cheese, sauce, and toppings. Then, competition arrived, and the simple pizza pie simply wasn’t enough. Delivery companies began a string of innovations. Hand-tossed, think-crust, “Chicago-style,” stuffed crust and “Meat Lovers” were among the pies du jour. Then one chain ...

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Redefining Failure

I view life as a series of experiments. When you look at it through this lens, failure means something completely different. One definition of an experiment is: “A test or investigation, especially one planned to provide evidence for or against a hypothesis.” The only way an experiment can fail is if you don’t get the evidence. Even if the evidence ...

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How to Avoid Commoditizing Yourself

Do some of your customers and prospects treat you like a commodity? If they do, you’re likely competing on price far more than you’d like. Companies and industries that slide into commoditization almost always have a better option. There’s always a way to identify, quantify and communicate significant incremental value and results for your clients that your competitors fail to ...

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