Experts Debunk the Myth that Innovation Drives Business Breakthroughs

Share Article

These days, "innovation" as a business driver is hot. This has led many organizations (start-ups in particular) to focus exclusively on their ability to innovate and to create a disruptive breakthrough that will make them famous. But directionless innovation is a common road to the business scrap heap, say authors of Tuned In, the hot new business book.

than the other guys because they are bigger, smaller, faster, or cheaper. But your customers don't care. Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader.

All of the magazine articles, business school courses, and books on the subject of innovation are misleading, because innovation alone rarely creates breakthrough products, say the authors of Tuned In the new book about uncovering the extraordinary opportunities that lead to business breakthroughs. In fact, the culture of "Innovation Is Everything" breeds tuned out behaviors and typically leads to business failure say the authors.

"Focusing on 'changing the game' is not inherently a bad thing," says Phil Myers, President of Pragmatic Marketing and co-author of Tuned In. "Some organizations are really good at creating and marketing innovative products--Bose, Nike, and Brookstone are three that come quickly to mind. Unfortunately, what we tend to see more often are companies that innovate for innovations' sake, using inside-out thinking. In other words, they create products that are new, hip and cool or have never-before-seen features. But these feature-laden products and services aren't developed in response to buyer-defined needs. As a result, these innovation-led companies invest big resources in hopes of a big win (much like a baseball player swinging for a home run on each pitch). Their risk of failure is huge."

The authors say innovation-driven leaders fixate on "one-upping" alternative products in the marketplace. But, in the end, a corporate personality built around innovation by itself has a low probability of success.

"We've noticed many innovation-driven companies obsess over competitors' moves and try to make incremental improvements to what the other guys are doing," says Myers. "The problem with this approach is you tend to create products and services that are "better" than the other guys because they are bigger, smaller, faster, or cheaper. But your customers don't care. Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader."

The authors of Tuned In offer a model for success used by many companies to create breakthrough products and services. Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs by Craig Stull, Phil Myers, and David Meerman Scott is published by Wiley on June 27, 2008 and available wherever business books are sold. ISBN: 978-0470260364

Anyone can use Tuned In to replicate the model for success. It works for well-known companies like Ford, Apple, and GE and those not-so-famous like GoPro and Zipcar. It works for realtors, doctors, ministers and even rock stars. Tuned In will teach you how to transform your everyday activities into those which create the kind of culture that builds market leaders.

Authors Craig Stull and Phil Myers lead the team at Pragmatic Marketing, the company behind Tuned In. David Meerman Scott is an online thought-leadership strategist who teaches the New Rules of Marketing seminar for Pragmatic Marketing.

About Pragmatic Marketing: Twice recognized as one of America's fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine, Pragmatic Marketing provides training seminars, onsite workshops, consulting services, and an online community for technology product managers, marketers and executives. Over 45,000 people at more than 3,000 companies world-wide have been trained using the Pragmatic Marketing Framework, a practical, market-driven approach to creating and launching technology products. See

Graham Joyce
(gjoyce @

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website