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Dealing with Innovation

Geoffrey Moore author of the new book “Dealing with Darwin,” as part of his book tour, was in Seattle today and spoke at Starbucks HQ

Geoff introduced the book by explaining many companies (especially technology) focus on innovation during the start-up phase – to get a product created – and ride the wave from there. But, he added, innovation needs to take place at all the stages in the category life cycle.

Some quotable quotes…

Companies run into trouble when they spend more time in the mind of the business and not enough time in the mind of the customer.

and…

“What is (your company name here) about?” What is your identity? What do you represent to your customers, your employees and to yourself?

Differentiation

This is innovation that truly sets you apart from the your competition… makes you the “preferred choice” in the market place.

Neutralization

This is innovation that catches up to what a competitor is doing, and eliminates the differentiation. An example, when the first airline added an electronic self-check-in kiosk – they became a differentiated airline. But now all airlines have them – so that innovation has been neutralized. In the book he mentions “Citibank achieved differentiation with ATM machines in the 1970s; then all other banks achieved neutralization.” It’s now what’s expected from consumers.

Productivity

This is the innovation that takes place behind the scenes. The inner operation that isn’t necessarily visible to the customer.

Waste

Waste is productivity that doesn’t add value or create additional return. It’s innovation for the sake of innovation. More features were added, but not more value.


Want more? Additional slides may be downloaded from his website. Also check out Geoff’s blog!

He is super smart, down-to-earth, and an awesome presenter. If he’s in your town – I highly recommend listening to him speak. Geoff’s schedule can be found on the TCG Advisor’s website (in the right-hand column).

Look for the continuation “Dealing with Innovation: 2” posting tomorrow.

Geoff has also written: Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game, and
Living on the Fault Line

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