Innovation365 Innovative... Is it?

Today's innovation comes from Sony to announce US e-book reader.

What is innovative? Actually, the innovative part is the E-ink used in the reader (see the video on How It Works page). The display technology will be everywhere in a few years (food safety indicators, pill bottles, on wrap around dash boards!).

The reader itself? Ho Hum. This e-book reader thing has been going on for years and has not yet taken off. It is very close to having a solution to a problem no one yet has.

Innovation365 Just plain cool innovation!

Today's innovation comes from Air guitarists’ rock dreams come true.

What is innovative? This is just plain COOL! Ok, it is not obvious, on the gut reaction meter this is "Wow!", and it takes advantage of normal things (orange gloves, human arms, software, and a camera) and produces something really entertaining and interesting. It currenly does not make any money but you can bet that oranged gloved arm waving employees will be doing something productive in the near future.

Now can we get those gloves in pink? And will this bring back Michael Jackson gloves?

Innovation365 Challenge assumptions

Today's innovation comes from TopsyTurvey.

What is innovative? Taking a basic assumption (plants must grow up) and turning that assumption upside down (literally!).

Ok, why is this so innovative? Some of the advantages are being able to water, feed, trim and harvest without bending or kneeling over. Other promoted advantages: since the plant is upside down and will never touch the ground, problems with staking, caging, bacteria, ground rotting, fungus and small animals are removed or diminished.

Innovation365 Starbucks and innovation

Today's innovation comes from Starbucks.

What is innovative? Translating the purchase of coffee into a place to go to read, relax, hang out, a destination unto itself.

Imaging 30 years ago saying to your wife or friends that you would meet them at a place for coffee with good seating, nice background music, always clean restrooms, and the coffee is made to your fondest desires.

What Starbucks has done is make coffee a side item to its main offering: the store is a destination. It is innovative because it gets you to think about more than just coffee. This allows for the marketing and selling of items like Starbucks only music CD specials. Want to try Cranium? Just buy it! Need that something extra gift? Pick up an ubber cool stainless steel thermos.

You may think you are going to Starbucks to get coffee but you really go because the brand of Starbucks is in your brain.

Think about this: BP (fka British Petroleum) is doing the same thing to its gas stations: Wild Bean Cafe. In their marketing they are trying to make the gas station more than a place to get gas and pick up snacks. They are trying to make it a destination.

Innovation365 An innovation and why it is innovative.

What is innovation?
  • Unique
  • Not obvious
  • Creative and useful
  • Able to be made in to a business
  • Potentially disruptive!
There are many views on what innovation means. Below is one example of the use of innovation as a word.

Now on to innovation and why:
Being able to watch any show when and where you want. Really cool is being able to pick up a DVD of the movie you just watched at the movie theater, as you walk out!

Why is this innovative?
It is disruptive! Many in the movie industry would see selling the DVD at the theater as killing their revenue. But this model allows for buzz and satisfies the craving of wanting to see a good movie again. Hey, the movie sucks, no amount of ad budget will increase viewers.

This also is a new way to take a traditional stream of income and translate it to a different stream.

What if the movie was released, at the same time, in the theater, on DVD, and on the web, all at different price points, providing different user experiences?

For more details see the Dec 2005 Fast Company article Maverick Mogul. There are also several other articles on the New New Hollywood at Fast Company.

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