Product Innovation

Innovation Can't Wait

One of my partners, an electrical engineer, let out a loud cry a few minutes ago. He was responding to an article I sent him about a new electical gizmo that monitors eletrical usage in the home. He was upset because he came up with a very similar idea about a year ago, but he assumed it was safe to ...

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Innovating the Hockey Stick

Ice hockey is big business. But it lags behind other professional sports – soccer, football, baseball, and basketball. As with all industries, the key to growth is innovation. Equipment manufacturers such as Reebok are taking this seriously with the creation of the Hockey Research and Innovation Center. In this month’s LAB, we will focus on the equipment side of hockey, ...

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Innovation Convergence

by Stephen Shapiro I never really thought much about toothpaste. But at the last two innovation conferences where I spoke, toothpaste was one of the hot topics. At the FT Innovate conference in London, Unilever discussed their “Signal White Now” (and other brands) toothpaste. Instead of using harsh bleaches and abrasives, they borrowed an optical-effect technology from their laundry team. ...

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Are you crimping your innovation funnel?

New Product Development Requires Fresh Perspective on ‘Creative’ and ‘Structure’ by Robert F. Brands New product development can be a misunderstood concept. Is the “product” actually a product? Or can it be a process? Is it a mandate from the C Suite? Or can it be a suggestion from the factory floor, the retail showroom, the Idea Box or a ...

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Innovation Sighting – Smart Floors

In a world where gravity is ever present, floors are essential. We spend most of our waking hours standing or walking on them. But we tend to ignore them. That is a pity given the nearly constant contact we have with them. What if the floor could be innovated? What could it do for us that it doesn’t do today? ...

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Where are the Market and Product Explorers?

Ok, after a number of years and a range of clients, I’ve seen a lot of titles. Product Manager, Product Developer, Product Development Manager, etc. I’ve even seen titles like Innovation Manager and Ideator and some other more fanciful titles. These are all valid and important roles. But what is evident to me is that while we place great emphasis ...

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It's Tough to be a Follower

The news is out. Sales of the much-ballyhood Palm Pre are…a disappointment. The new smartphone, launched to compete head-on with Apple’s groundbreaking iPhone, has lost its momentum. The Pre, which was launched June 6, got off to a good start but has faded in recent weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts projected lower sales in the current period ...

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The Front End Of Innovation Challenge

In a recent meeting in one of my network groups, we focused on the front end of innovation as a couple of the members have current challenges on how to identify and develop ideas in the very early stages. I remember attending my first Front End Of Innovation conference in Boston five years ago. Hundreds of people participated and there ...

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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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