Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Innovate?

This was the question posed to me by a few of my friends working with a few Small to Medium firms. Here is the gist of their argument - "It is very difficult to predict and achieve success with innovative products. Sometimes an innovative product may not even be successful since the market is not ready or it is ahead of its times. Isn't it simpler to wait for your competitor to innovate and then if it is really good, we can copy it easily? Isn't this a smarter path?"

I know some of you also agree to these view points. So let me give you my take on this.

I do acknowledge that success by following the path of innovation is long winded and there are no guarantees about success. But ignoring this is even riskier. Let me explain. You can always be an follower when it comes to new products but there are couple of risks your organization is running which it needs to be aware of.

  1. If your competitor comes up with a innovation which is not simple to replicate quickly, then you could end up losing all your market share even taking your existing customers away from you.

  2. Every time your competitor comes up with an innovation, he/she gets the first mover advantage which results in getting new customers or maybe a few of your customers who are curious about the new discovery.

The only way to counter these points is by continuously innovating yourself. Note that you can have your own innovation team and still be done in by the above 2 factors. But chances are that over a period of time - it will even out, if you are consistent about innovation.

Another important factor to consider is the brand factor. Your customer is constantly judging and making conclusions of your brand. If you consistently don't innovate and end up just being a follower - you can rest assured that over a period of time, your customer will decide that he/she can't expect any innovation from your brand and will most probably switch to your competitor's brand.

Now that is a risk no company can afford to take.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Position at ideaken

Hi Everybody,

I have been using this blog to randomly blog about my ideas about innovations and how we can use technology to innovate.

This post is to officially disclose that I have now joined ideaken ( in a full time role as Director, Community Engagement. ideaken is a new start up which enables enterprises to do open innovation and co-creation activities through a SAAS enabled web platform. Please visit to learn more about ideaken and do register yourselves at ideaken. Registration is free and gives you an opportunity to participate in challenges for reward and recognition. So get on board now!

I will continue to post randomly in this blog and will try to be as neutral as possible when I continue posting on innovation in the future.

Thanks for your patronage and hope you continue to visit this blog.

I will also be posting occasionally at So please bookmark that as well and travel the journey with us as we embark on enabling organisations to do innovation and co-creation.

Feel free to send me your thoughts, comments or ideas. I can be reached at Thanks.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Aiming big on Innovation Projects

Most innovation projects are guilty of coming up with some pre-requisites, which stifle it right from the beginning. These are the main ones that I have come across:

1. Aiming too small
2. Defining too many boundaries
3. Eliminating unconventional thinking

So why do enterprises do this? We could have a huge debate on this topic but it usually boils down to 2 big reasons:

1. Fear of Failure
2. Fear of change

So how do we overcome these obstacles and take the innovation forward? The only way, I believe, is to define huge goals and plan big. Why? Since when we define huge goals, it becomes difficult to set normal boundaries and force people to think in conventional means.

As an added benefit, people are generally not scared of failure at huge projects (As an example - Man took quite a long time before he could walk on Moon but while the feat was celebrated as a huge event, nobody prior to that felt like a failure since they could not achieve that goal).

The final point is about successes. When you have a huge success, that by itself makes all the failures and disappointments earlier worthwhile and motivates you to continue pursuing more success again.

So the next time, you define goals for your innovation project, check again!!!

Aim big and achieve more!!
Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)

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