Product Innovation

A Cosmetic Fix?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked by corporate leaders struggling to manage in the current environment is how far to go with their cost-cutting measures. With their companies suffering sales declines, they’ve got to trim somewhere to maintain profitability (and in some cases to stay afloat), but they don’t want to cut the wrong things. Recent moves by Jean-Paul ...

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Never Miss an Idea – The LiveScribe Pulse Smart Pen

Innovating is mental, visual, and vocal. Here is a new product to help capture…and coordinate…all three. It is called the PulseTM by Livescribe. The PulseTM is a smart pen that records and links audio to what your write, so you never miss a word…or an idea. The PulseTM will become a great tool for conducting innovation workshops. One of the ...

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Can You Have Slow Innovation?

by Jeffrey Phillips Just as the peacekeeper missile and “postal service” have entered the lexicon as oxymorons, I’d like to add another: slow innovation. Clearly, slow or cautious innovation is anathema to innovation and an oxymoron. Why is there such an emphasis on speed where innovation is concerned? Innovators have to respond quickly with new ideas, and implement the ideas ...

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Why Edison Was Wrong

The other night I had an enlightening conversation with Alph Bingham, the co-founder of InnoCentive from Eli Lilly. This guy is fascinating! Alph suggested that many people do not like open innovation (external crowd sourcing) because it runs counter to a widely held belief of the R&D community. Researchers often throw around the Edison quote, “I have not failed 700 ...

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When Not to Use Focus Groups

I’m still a fan of focus groups. Yes, they’re mostly qualitative, and at best you’re capturing information from a handful of customers that may or may not be representative. But the richness of information, the multi-dimensional and behavioral feedback is unique to that environment. And with some products (trying on jackets, or testing perfume for example) sending an email survey ...

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Creating Innovation Metrics

Measuring innovation is where the rubber meets the road. While it’s very easy to wax eloquent about innovation, I’ve found that for most companies, measuring innovation is quite a tall order. Moreover, even for those organizations that do measure innovation, are they measuring the right metrics, for the right reasons? I’ve authored many previous posts on the topic of innovation, ...

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Discovering Innovation Around the House

Last night I was hungry and decided to make some tuna fish. I opened my refrigerator and found an 18 ounce squeeze bottle of mayonnaise. As I started to make my meal, I realized that the mayo had expired 6 months ago. I guess I don’t use it very often because the bottle was still 90% full. After throwing out ...

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What are you doing to innovate for an obese America?

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on the huge price being paid in health-care spending due to America’s rapidly expanding waistlines: $147B. How are we as innovators leading companies to address this head on? Lecturing, hectoring and “education” aren’t changing what’s on America’s plate, or at least not quickly enough. I recommend reading Hank Cardello’s book “Stuffed: An Insider’s ...

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Book Review – "The Silver Lining" by Scott Anthony

A couple of weeks ago I received “The Silver Lining” by Scott Anthony in the mail. “The Silver Lining” is a relatively short, easy, and pleasant read. Scott introduces several different concepts in the book in addition to the main thesis – which seems to be that companies must prune their innovation portfolios, refeature their products to meet ever-changing customer ...

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Innovate Your Way out of a Recession

How on earth can companies compete in a global economy where staff costs in India are a tenth of those in the West and where Chinese companies are now looking to outsource their operations to cut costs further? We can not continuously improve our way out of the current challenges, rather we must fundamentally change what we do and how ...

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