This is the second part of my collection of quotes (click here to see the first part). I find particularly interesting the companies that turned down multi-billion dollar opportunities like IBM refusing to invest in the photocopier or Atari rejecting Steve Job’s proposal to develop the personal computer. Those companies were nonetheless being managed by very smart people, understanding what influenced such decisions is the complex matter.
China has invested heavily over the past decades to improve its industrial capacity and competitiveness and to create internal Research & Development poles. Now the domestic companies, in order to become true global players, will need to mix all that investment with solid management techniques and business expertise.
In previous articles I have outlined how the usage of the term innovation has grown exponentially over the last years. You can hear it in politics, institutions, international organizations and so on. Despite this popularity, however, we can say that innovation management is still an immature “science”. There is no dominant theory on the field and little agreement among managers and academics alike regarding what affects a company’s ability to innovate.
Remember that a bit (binary digit) is the single piece of information in digital systems, it is either a 0 or a 1. A byte, instead, is a group of 8 bits. When we talk about computer memories or data storage 1 kilobit refers to 1024 (2^10) bits, 1 megabit refers to 1024 kilobits (or 1024 x 1024 bits), 1 kilobyte refers to 1024 bytes and so on. In telecommunications, however, transmission rates have traditionally been declared in bits per second (bps) and 1 kilobit refers to 1000 bits and not 1024 as in data storage.
The first confusion to dismiss is the difference between invention and innovation. The former refers to new concepts or products that derive from individual’s ideas or from scientific research. The latter, on the other hand, represents the commercialization of the invention itself.
There is an interesting discussion going on lately regarding the importance of blogs against that of traditional information sources like newspapers. Some time ago Malcom Gladwell (by the way if you have not had the chance to read his books I suggest you do so, they are short yet insightful) speaking on a panel about the future of journalism said:
“Without the New York Times, there is no blog community. They’d have nothing to blog about.”
Internet is something amazing. One day (early 2005) you are trying to figure out how to share videos with your friends, the other (mid 2006) you own a service that delivers 100 million videos per day.
Stories like the above one, even if not as dramatic, are not uncommon. Consider the lists Fortune 500, Forbes 100, Global 1000, S&P 500 and so on, they collect the largest and, supposedly, the best managed companies in the world. If we take a closer look, however, practically all of those large organizations underperform the market in the long term, a rather counter-intuitive fact.
For many years people have talked about the wonders of optical fibers. Yet the dream of an all-optical network is far away from materializing. Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) is a reality in very few places around the world,
There are many costumers who would be willing to drive an all-electric car, despite the reduced performance, because the alternative would be not driving at all. Consider parents who are worried about how far and how fast their kids might drive. An electric car could be the perfect choice.