Patent Expiry Can Increase Innovation

Patent Expiry Can Increase InnovationWhile patents help protect innovations, patent expiry can lead to an explosion of creative new uses for existing technologies and create new business opportunities.

As an example let’s consider 3D printing.

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Three Reasons People Reject Creative Ideas… and Three Things You Can Do About It

No by sboneham used under Creative Commons License
We have all experienced it. You have a great idea but it’s rejected by your colleagues, your boss or your CEO.

Rejection is common. While most people admire creative individuals, entrepreneurs or writers they can find it difficult to back a creative idea.

Why is that?

Here are three reasons why people reject novel ideas and three things you can do to help get your ideas adopted.


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Invention is Reinvention

Sometimes Invention is ReinventionSo, you don’t have a new idea for a wonderful product. Not a problem.

Sometimes invention is reinvention. Many successful ideas are new ways of reusing existing ideas or new combinations of existing things. Here are three examples:

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The Five Innovation Myths That Destroy Big Companies

The Five Innovation Myths That Destroy Big CompaniesNokia is seen as a company that was innovative but is in decline. It was the company that made cell phones fashion accessories. In 2008 it had a 40% share of the global mobile phone market. Today it has just 3% of the smartphone market and the company is worth just 5% of it’s 2008 value.

What makes a company go into such a sharp decline? What hampers their innovation?

Let’s look at some innovation myths that can destroy big companies.

Myth 1: It’s Easy for Big Companies to be Radical Innovators
Myth 2: Big Companies Know Their Competitors
Myth 3: ‘No Problem, We’ve Got That Covered’
Myth 4: Our Customers Love Our Brand and Will Stay Loyal
Myth 5: If We Fall Behind We Can Catch Up Quickly

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Innovation Needs Action – A Quick Approach to Market Testing

Survey resized 4

Got ideas for new products or services? Will other people buy them?

Test this as quickly, and as cheaply, as possible. Then, you can focus your resources on developing your most promising ideas.

Here’s a quick approach to market testing ideas, that we used recently with one of our clients.

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Your Adjacent Possible – It’s Bigger Than You Think

Peek-aBooo by Shardayyy (Used under a Creative Commons License)

Why didn’t  Leonardo da Vinci invent the helicopter? In the 1480’s he drew a vertical flight machine. His notebooks reveal that he built small models of it. So why wasn’t he the first person to make a helicopter?Continue reading “Your Adjacent Possible – It’s Bigger Than You Think”

Loose Connections Stimulate Innovation

How many friends do you have? How many acquaintances and contacts? 5, 50, 150, more?

Often innovation is about making unexpected connections. A diverse network of contacts increases our chances of making these connections. Your network is a great asset in expanding your thinking, providing new inputs and generating novel solutions.Continue reading “Loose Connections Stimulate Innovation”

Innovation – Where Should You Invest?

Innovation - Where should you invest? Original image by Used under a Creative Commons License.Recently I visited a company that wanted to invest in innovation. They wanted to act, yet they were hesitating. They were thinking of innovation as the creation of totally new, game changing products that radically change the marketplace. They were reluctant to invest all of their innovation budget in such high risk projects. A very reasonable conclusion.

So where should you invest?Continue reading “Innovation – Where Should You Invest?”

The Benefits of Innovation – The 20:20:20 Rule

When I talk about innovation I usually start with an explanation of why innovation is important. To do this I use two reports, one published in 2000 by PWC, the other published in 2010 by DeBooz. Although the surveys were published 10 years apart they provide a remarkably consistent view of why we should innovate.

PWC and DeBooz both analysed over a thousand companies. They calculated how innovative the companies were by measuring things like the number of new product launches in the last five years, whether the products were genuinely new to market (not line extensions or adaptive innovations) and whether consumers considered the company to be innovative. PWC and DeBooz also analysed the financial performance of the companies: revenue, profits, shareholder value etc.

The findings, in 2000 and 2010, were remarkably similar. I call them the 20:20:20 rule.Continue reading “The Benefits of Innovation – The 20:20:20 Rule”