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Innovate or Die! How you gonna survive?

Let’s face it, you don’t want to die, do you?

So, every day, you do things that are going to prolong your life – you eat, you drink, you exercise (or should do!)….the list goes on. The fact remains, from the minute you get out of bed, you start doing tasks that sustain life, mostly subconsciously.

So, if you’re in business seriously, how long do you want your company to survive?

Are you feeding it properly, not only with the right customers, but with the food it needs to grow and prosper, such new innovations and new products?

Look at some of the world’s largest companies, such as Apple, 3M, Google, to name a few – how do you think they got to where they did? Did they grow to the monstrous enterprises they are by just hoping customers would waltz in through the door and buy the products or services they had? Did they think that by being satisfied with what they have, that they would become market dominators?

No chance.

These conglomerates actually encourage innovation within their employees – Google and 3M actually pay their employees to spend time to innovate. In fact, the Post-It note was invented by a couple of 3M’s employee’s using time paid for by 3M to innovate. They played with it for 10 years before they found a marketable use for the adhesive that simply didn’t seem to be sticky enough.

Such a simple thing, and yet how many companies fail to do it.

Some of the largest companies failed because they didn’t innovate. Just look at the likes of Woolworths, Polaroid, Alta Vista, Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders… the list goes on.

Corporate Innovation: Innovate or Die!

Take Kodak – they had products that everyone used, but they didn’t look ahead – their products were made obsolete for them, and now the company is obsolete….

Maybe you’re a bit fearful or anxious about how to develop new products, or innovate? Maybe you’re afraid of failure – that it might not work….remember that failure is an important step in the process of success.  (Get a reality check on your idea)

Every failure brings a company closer to success, if embraced. For example, if a successful product brings in £1m in sales, and it takes 9 failures to achieve each success, each step in the process (including the 9 failures) can be viewed as bringing the company £100k in additional business – a positive way to look at failure!

OK, so to bring it back to earth – maybe you’re not a large company like Apple, or 3M, and perhaps you think that innovation only applies to those types of organisations – you’re wrong.

The simple fact remains – if you want to survive – you MUST innovate, or your organisation will become another statistic.  Innovate or die, quite simply.

What will YOU do in order to survive?



18 thoughts on “Innovate or Die! How you gonna survive?”

  1. Love this piece. Amazing that these well known organizations have such a strong mandate for innovation, but it’s not that surprising. Idea generation is the key to any success, no matter what field. Like you said, if we become to complacent with the norms we have now, we will not be distinguished in the future and we will fail.

    1. Bradley Pallister

      The origin of the phrase “innovate or die” is a matter of some dispute. Peter Drucker famously declared it, though others may have shared in its coinage. But whatever its genesis, the sentiment is now widespread: Stay ahead of the pace of change (which is rapidly increasing) or you’re a piece of toast.
      If we take Toys’R’Us and Blockbuster. Both were huge companies and enjoyed massive amounts of success. This was all thrown overboard due to their failure to innovate. Leaders became reliant on methods which caused them the least amount of hassle and the two companies did not adapt apropriately. Let it be a lesson to all aspiring business giants – your life can be made much easier if you innovate according to the demands of the consumers. Reluctance or sluggishness to innovate can crush a business underfoot. Don’t let it crush yours.

  2. Bussiness should always estimulate the idea generation process because innovation is a constant variable for companies. In the actual technological times if you are not constantly innovating you may dissapear.

    1. Bradley Pallister

      Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived around 500 BC said “The only thing that is constant is change.” This quote is apt for the world that we live in in the 21st century.
      Generating ideas is one thing, executing on them is another. When we look at product development as a kind of segment of innovation, for every 70 product ideas, only 10 of those will yield a successful product. A structured innovation process is critical for business to change that statistic, which we’d be more than happy to help out with.

  3. Talk about nostalgia but I remember saying something exactly if not along the lines of this a few days ago. I agree though people must now ask themselves how to make money from my idea? Due to the fact that these days traditional ways are long gone. Otherwise as harsh as it sounds they may as well say goodbye to their jobs or business.

  4. conrad pranze villas

    New Product development is the key to a company’s success. Innovation will always a partner to any company. If a company will not innovate then consumers will try to look for alternative company that will be according to their taste.

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