Both innovation and disruption sound great on paper for any business aiming to distinguish itself from the competition, but do audiences know the difference? Many companies – especially startups – make liberal use of these words that connote change and creativity but the result is a blurred business definition of both words that can be confusing. What are the distinctions between them and what do they mean for businesses?
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One of the biggest challenges of product innovation is creating an element of surprise. What does this mean? As consumers, we tend to gravitate towards products or services that fulfill a need, whether we realize that need or not. The most impacted I've been by a new product was an instance where I wasn't consciously aware of the need. Now that I have it, however, it's something that I can't live without!
Every now and then I still get surprised, and you'll hear me say, "Wow! Now that was a great idea!" I reserve that compliment for ideas that are outside the norm. Here are just a few of my favorite companies of 2016 that are turning cool ideas into some surprisingly innovative products and services.
Even the most successful businesses face customer, competitive, and business growth challenges. The factors which led to stunning success in times past may not be what leads you to success in the future.
1) Lack of innovation can kill your company.
Let’s face it. It's hard to be competitive... especially when you're dead. Hootsuite's CEO, Ryan Holmes, notes in a LinkedIn article:
Developing and launching a new product are two distinct actions. You might have gone through the exciting development process with a consulting firm, but have no clear strategy yet for getting that shiny new object into the hands of your target customers.
A successful launch begins with the right timing. While it comes with a sense of urgency, a rush to market could spell disaster. Careful planning and strategy must be met with precision. Here are 15 steps that you'll want to put into your game plan:
When it comes to making a business thrive, past success is not a guaranteed indicator of future success.
In today's ever-evolving and increasingly competitive business ecosystem, change is becoming "the new normal." Much like Madonna and Lady Gaga, the most successful organizations are those who have mastered the chameleon-like art of constant reinvention. Successful SaaS companies and software consultants that know how to stay relevant and aware of market demands naturally embrace change and evolution. When it comes to making a business thrive, past success is not a guaranteed indicator of future success.
The development of new tech moving at breakneck speed means more businesses are scrambling to delight their customers and stay competitive in a changing market. While industries like print and publishing should have seen the advent of change a decade ago, companies like Netflix had the foresight to capture the technology that would soon replace DVDs to become the largest provider of online streaming. Not bad for a company that almost went the way of Blockbuster.
Depending on Your Talent
You're only as good as the people you hire (and retain). The most recession-proof companies understand this and make hiring and engaging their workforce part of a winning strategy to withstand the whims of the market. Leaders of innovation-heavy organizations should bear this in mind and resist the pressure to go lean when times get tough. Focus on mentoring up-and-comers as well as longtime high-performers to optimize their output and grow your business. A steadfast commitment to talent creation is one of the best methods for encouraging innovation and fostering a culture of reinvention.
Even in the tech business, there are two types of leaders: those who excel at running the daily operations of a business and those with a unique talent for innovation. None is necessarily better than the other, but forward-thinking leadership is an essential part of staying ahead of the competition and on the cutting edge of the market. Make sure your leadership team is an inspired one that continuously strives to push forward.
Going the Distance
Post-recession, one of the most common organizational pitfalls is to sink back into complacency. Entrepreneurs and business leaders begin with good intentions to create an agile, customer-centric culture but fall back into old habits and assume things will plug along as they once did.
Everyone knows we live in an increasingly digital economy. But your company isn't a software company....right?
The problem with making a strategic software investment decision using a broad standard is the total lack of context. Don't base your software investment on industry standards but rather on the value you are creating, both tangible and intangible. The key is to determine the value your product is creating and let that drive your investment decision. And this can be easier than you think!
Early on the idea of an “Application Economy” was revolutionary. Very few companies embraced the concept that any business, no matter what the industry, should imagine, create, and distribute online tools, apps, or products.