product innovation

Innovation is about being different

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

What is innovation?

Innovation is a strange beast. Most people say innovation is about new technology or bringing new things to the market. Some might think of better processes.

Schumpeter went further and defined it as “The introduction of new goods (…), new methods of production (…), the opening of new markets (…), the conquest of new sources of supply  (…) and the carrying out of a new organization of any industry”. (Source: Innovation Zen)

Innovation is about being different

However, what most of the time is missing, is that innovation has something to do about being positively different from your competitors. When every body in your industry is bringing out new products like in the TV set industry or in the PC industry, then this is no innovation. It is just daily business. You have to do it to survive. It’s a rat race.

Innovation is about being different in a way customers love.

Innovation is about being different in a way customers love.

However, successful innovation is different. Successful innovation is about being different.

Innovation is….

Innovation is when you just offer one telephone handset when your competitor offers 118 devices. Innovation is when you update your one phone only once a year a bit and a major overhaul comes every second year while your competitors bring new devices to the market every months. Innovation is when you see your “telephone” not as a device but as an access gate to whole new world. That’s Apple vs. Nokia. By the way Apple spent only a ninth on R&D than Nokia (more…)

Banking 2.0: Call for help: Ideas for unsolved or badly solved jobs in today’s banking

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Dear readers, this time I would like to tap to your collective and swarm intelligence. It’s a bit like open innovation but in a quick and dirty version.

The challenge: boring and uninspiring banking

The challenge is simple. Retail and e-Banking in the current form is quite 1.0. Most eBanking or payment systems use the traditional business model and transferred the traditional model online. So we have a banking 1.0 online. Boring, dull, uninspiring.

Now, the challenge is: What will be banking 2.0 look like?

What would make you say: “Wow, they really got it. You have to try it. It’s cool and just helped me to make my life easier and better.”

Your unsolved or badly solved jobs in personal finance

But before we look at the solutions I would like to raise the questions what are unsolved jobs in your personal finances. What annoys you? What is great and more people should know about? What are needs you think are so obvious, that there should be solutions to it?

Personal finance can anything from cash management, expense management, payments, saving and investing, financing your house or your car, saving for the silver age (pensions) etc… If you have a family, think about your family financial affairs. If you are a patchwork family, what are special jobs there?

Your solutions, please!

The second question is about solutions. What solutions do we need in banking 2.0? What products or services you would love to see?

Please use the comment function for your unsolved-jobs or ideas or the open innovation platform atizo, where I have set up a project “banking 2.0” for us. Please feel free to use both or just the one that suits you most.

Get a good business model: Do This or Die

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I lately wrote a blogpost in German on the poor chaps in advertising. I argued that advertisers are always coming too late with their creative ideas. If the business model they are going to advertise is bad they can’t do much anymore. They are just too late to fix the problems in the business model.

I made the provocative statement that you either have to be extremely creative to make good advertising for bad products or you must be schizophrenic.

Manifesto for good advertising (and good business models)

Manifesto for good advertising (and good business models)

The blogpost spured an interesting discussion. One advertiser sent me an ad from Bob Levenson, a guy from an agency called DDB. The ad is from the late 1960s. It is a manifesto for good products and against tricking people with advertising for bad products.

I want to share this ad with you since it is so true also for bad business models. If you have a bad or dated business model you have to change or die as department store Karstadt did. And it is not the fault of a bad economy or because of your competitors.To use the words from the ad. You die from your own skilled hands. It is the fault of your strategy skills.

Here comes the original text of the ad. Thanks to Serge Deville for the text.

DO THIS OR DIE

Is this ad some kind of trick?

No. But it could have been.

And at exactly that point rests a do or die decision for American business.

We in advertising, together with our clients, have all the power and skill to trick people.

Or so we think. But we’re wrong.

We can’t fool any of the people any of the time.

(more…)

Great Innovation: Renovate, don’t replace

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Werner Näf had a very simple idea. If your water pipes at home need to be replaced why not renovate them from within? So he invented the LSE-System. It can clean the pipes from the inside using special equipment, dry and then recoat them and by the way save up to 75% in costs and hassle.

I got lately fascinated by firms that invented new solutions to solve a problem that we all know and where the traditional way was quite cumbersome. I introduced Mr. Krinner in a last post to you. He invented the first stable Christmas tree stand and the ground screw. He just solved an obvious problem.

So did Mr. Werner Näf. If you ever lived in an old house you know the problem of rust in your water pipes and of loss of pressure and water quantity due to congestion by deposits of rust and limescale. If you are the owner of an

old house you know the problem of leakage and high costs associated with replacing the pipes.Deposits in a water pipe

The traditional way is to replace the pipes. That means heavy construction work with tearing out the pipes from the wall, lot’s of chiselling, no water for weeks and if the heating system is affected no heating. The traditional way is to solve a big problem with a slightly smaller problem. Usually, you postpone the replacement up to the last minute due to the big hassle involved. (more…)

Great Innovation: Getting a job done

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Often one hears that everything is already invented and that only incremental improvements are possible. Well, tell this to Mr. Krinner. He has invented two products that just changed the way how jobs are getting done. He invented the Krinner Christmas tree stand and the ground screw.

Probably, you never heard of Mr. Krinner and his company. But if you have no problem to put up your Christmas tree straight and safely, than you probably use his tree stand. His tree stand is not high tech, it just solves the problem to erect a Christmas tree easily and with high stability.

Krinner Christmas tree stand

The second innovation by Mr. Krinner is as simple as the tree stand: The ground screw. What the heck is this? You probably have never heard of this product category before and right, Mr. Krinner invented this product category. But you know the problem Mr. Krinner solved: Fixing something in the ground. (more…)