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Creating Opportunity Through Innovation

Posted on 8.02.2007
Opportunities emerge through our own changing needs and wants. These changes force us to rethink our strategies while the loyalties of our customers endlessly shift in the realm of increasing competition. These days, if you’re not innovating, your enterprise is dying. In the end, those who pursue a better, richer experience for themselves and their customers will be the ones left standing.

Those that embrace and deploy disruptive technologies find that life on the “bleeding edge” can, in itself be disruptive, challenging and potentially fruitless. As Steve Jobs once said, “Creating a compelling new technology is so much harder than you think it will be that you’re almost dead when you get to the other shore.” That may be overstating the challenge of innovation but it does shed some insight into its complexity.

To truly be innovators, we must listen closely to both the public sphere and our own technology environment. Most of us assume we, and the software systems we have in place are suited to, and competent in listening to the dialogue of data that is occurring in our networks. While innovation can never be produced mechanically, it is possible to set up the conditions for innovation and to produce a steady stream of significant breakthroughs. We must understand that our data is the result of constant “conversation” between our website and its visitors. And we must treat that conversation as a roadmap to what is possible for the future.

Dig deep into your analytics data or e-commerce reports, measure the impact of social media campaigns and track the conversations that are important to you. Compare and contrast the software that currently supports your enterprise with what you believe will serve you and your consumers better.

Understand what customers want. Be creative and daring enough to give them something they haven't seen before. We're only human — we want more than what exists. Give them something new that does what they want and more.

Listen with an open mind to the concerns of consumers and force detractors to leave their apathy and resignation at the door. Bring skills for designing new technologies and business practices in the same package and be persistent in its implementation.

Technology empowers people to be creative and productive. The Internet lets people do things they didn't think they could do before. Internet technology can be summed up nicely in one word: potential. Vinton Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet may have said it best: “The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation.”
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