Innovation should not only disrupt but also challenge current beliefs

Innovation is an interesting field as it encompasses “change” in all areas, albeit most people only sight “disruption” as its main component. It would be nice to think that every person involved in Innovation only dealt with creating the latest new craze however for most incremental change is their bread and butter.

From a business as usual perspective one of the most important elements to understand when embarking on change is the cultural beliefs and expectations both from within the organisation and of the consumers, as these tend to change over the years and should encourage product updates. One product line which should have changed as cultural expectations shifted over the years is the personal computing market.

One of the biggest drivers which have changed the consumer’s personal computing needs is the advent of “cloud app stores” and the belief that the internet is now a safer place to transact where downloading applications and making purchases is acceptable. Prior to this most consumers needed to have a Laptop or Desktop “fully loaded” with a minimum spec of software so that they could complete a full range of activities from surfing the web to creating documents and any further software would need to be purchased and loaded by the user.

With the advent of the “cloud app stores” many entry level devices have launched onto the market with basic computing features which can be updated with paid apps to bring the user towards the previous “fully loaded” computer. In this decade “Less is Certainly More”. 

One thing that still surprises me is that even though the personal computing market is offering services which most casual Internet users no longer need most reporters continue to focus on its demise. Should we not be reporting that PC sales have only plunged 14%?

“Personal computer sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continue to gain in popularity and buyers appear to be avoiding Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8 system, according to a leading tech tracking firm”

The Personal Computing market is no different from any other Product Line which at first offered a product in which “one size had to fit all” however those days are gone and personalisation is the key. Real innovators recognise Cultural changes in society and introduce or update products that may cannibalise existing lines but still retain customer spend.

It is better to innovate a product line than loose it to your competitors.

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Author: Steve Wakefield

Steve Wakefield is an experienced Innovator presently based in London.

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