Mothers of Reinvention

sharon love tpnThe experience is the springboard from which innovation must bounce. By Sharon Love. The very meaning of the word ‘innovation’ is at risk of becoming background noise — similar to the way words like ‘leverage,’ ‘synergy’ and ‘disruption’ were enervated of their meaning and impact. Yet the notion of innovation should be virtually impossible to overuse: It amounts to the life-blood of a business or brand. Innovation is the energy force essential for creating and selling big ideas. It continually needs to deliver the next better idea, app or tool.

Without innovation, a business can find itself in danger of stagnation, or worse. Consider, for example, the diverging paths of two erstwhile competitors: Kodak and Fujifilm. At one time they were fierce combatants in a robust category, selling rolls of film at a healthy clip. Both were faced with the same calamity as the digital wave rolled in. Today, however, Fujifilm is prospering, while Kodak is just now pulling out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As its name would suggest, Fujifilm is still in the film business, but according to The New York Times, film now generates only about one percent of its total sales. Most of its revenues now come from "pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and office machines." But that’s not the innovation. Perhaps ironically, Fujifilm is finding its way forward with high-tech cameras dressed up in old-school style. continue

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