Wal-Mart recently started selling generic prescription drugs over its stores for $4. It is already covering 38 states throughout the United States and its portfolio includes more than 300 prescription drugs. The question that arises is: does this move from the giant retailer represent a disruptive innovation to traditional pharmacies?
New ideas are certainly the currency of the new economy, and they are also the fuel for most innovations. Despite that importance, though, many people still associate the generation of ideas with a lone genius, sitting on his desk and coming up with new things from scratch.
The open innovation approach, that is going beyond the corporate internal R&D for new ideas or products, seems to be gaining traction lately.
There is a growing trend towards free products or services that are based on advertising revenue. Just think about all the Internet portals, Web 2.0 companies and the like. Some time ago Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) said that mobile phones should also be free, and instead of charging mobile operators should place targeted advertising.
Necessity is the mother of invention, no doubt. Ladislao Biro, an Hungarian, was a sculptor, a painter and a journalist. But he was also a printer’s proof reader, and the need to incessantly refill his fountain pen from a bottle of ink was driving him crazy.
The Business 2.0 magazine has an interesting article covering what they called “crowdcasting”, which could be seen as open source innovation. The article basically describes how established companies like General Electric, IBM and DaimlerChrysler are turning to crowds of students to foster innovation within their companies.
Many people argue that companies are able to use innovation to create needs within customers. The iPod is a classic example, people defend that the world never needed such fashionable device before Apple created it. In my opinion, however, it is not possible to create needs within customers.
Some time ago on the article “7 Ways to Unlock Innovation” I had already defended the idea that companies must go beyond simple product innovations. BusinessWeek just published an article covering that topic.
Probably there are as many definitions of innovation as the number of supposed experts on the field around the world. Reading through my books and papers, though, I realized that I had no comprehensive list of the many definitions I have ever being in contact with, therefore I decided to create one.
I am sitting at the Madrid airport as I write this. I know that you could care less but hey, those are the benefits of writing a blog, you can talk about your personal experiences once in a while. Unfortunately there was no direct flight from Milan to Sao Paulo so I was forced to get a connection through Spain.