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Why Does It Matter

Why Does It Matter

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 663
Posted by: Gregg
Posted on: Friday, 29th June 2007

Its' all about innovation these days. But the world seems to have moved along pretty well until now without needing to focus on it. Do I really need to worry about it now? Wy?

Message: 693
Posted by: Kelly
Posted on: Monday, 2nd July 2007

Are you being serious? On the off-chance that you are, there are a number of reasons. A biggie is that the world is now so connected through the internet. It doesn't take years for news to travel. It takes seconds for playing fields to level. Keeping pace and moving faster than the playing field is the only way to stay competitive.

Message: 695
Posted by: Gregg
Posted on: Monday, 2nd July 2007

I am being serious. A more level playing field just speeds things up. Cycles still go – just faster.

I feel like there should be more of a reson for me to worry about innovation than time.

Message: 696
Posted by: InnovationColorado
Posted on: Tuesday, 3rd July 2007

Gregg, Good morning!

I will jump into the fray — you asked why should you be concerned with innovation, rather than just practicing cycle time reduction (making processes faster).

A few thoughts:

1. First, good innovation and good cycle time reduction can be practiced within the same company — Toyota is a good example — good innovation (and improvement on the innovation) with its hybrid vehicles (first the Prius, then other models), plus very good cycle time reduction (through  its “Toyota Production System”, TPS — the first of the visibly successful lean models).

2.  Also, think about this:  Which one do you want to want be:

 1) Sony, which innovated the Walkman a few decades ago, and then reduced cycle time to make them faster (and cheaper), but really did not do much additional innovation in this product family after that — ? 

or do you want to be:

2) Apple, which came out of nowhere (it did not have a presence in the consumer electronics industy in the late 1990s), took mostly off-the-shelf components, added great design and innovative software, assembled the components and the software, and created the iPod revoloution? 

Why didn't Sony invent the IPod?  Looking back, doesn't Sony wish it did just a little bit less cycle time reduction in the late 1990's, and a little bit more innovation?

… your thoughts??

Best regards,


Message: 717
Posted by: innovationisimp
Posted on: Thursday, 5th July 2007

Gregg — Take a look at this posting on another blog. References an article that might be helpful for you to read.

Message: 719
Posted by: Mike Carnell
Posted on: Friday, 6th July 2007


I am a little amazed at the reaction to Greg's post. This is a legitimate question. Not every company wants to get into the crap shoot that you have to be in when you are trying to innovate. There are a lot more companies that have made good money not being on the leading edge but being close behind and delivering good products. Innovation can be expensive and risky. It isn't the only strategy.

Just in your example alone – do I want to hold Sony stock or do I want to hold Apple over the long run. I am taking Sony. Sure Apple looks hot right now with the iPod but Apple has been a roller coaster for years.

If you have seen the movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley” at the end when Gates walks out and Jobs hollers at him “We're better.” and Gates responds “It doesn't matter.” So for the last 25 years do you want to hold stock with Gates or Jobs?

Just my opinion.

Message: 724
Posted by: Gregg
Posted on: Monday, 9th July 2007

Mike Carnell beat me to the punch with his reply (I've been on vacation), but I agree with his response. I'd choose Sony every day and twice on Sunday.

Apple continues to resurrect itself, but it's also famous for falling from its heights. As far as I know, they don't seem to be great about continuously bringing new products (that succeed) to market. If the choice is between them and Sony, I think Sony wins. Sony is stable, consistent and maybe not as 'flashy' in developing iPods, but I think I have more faith in them in the long-term.