Peter Balbus to be Featured Innovation Expert on American Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines In-flight Audio Programs

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Live interview introduces the breakthrough business strategy of "Ownable Distinction - the Antidote to Commodization".

This leads to lowest cost being the sole basis for competition - a strategy that only the most efficient companies can make work - and usually only at razor-thin margins.

Pragmaxis LLC announced today that its founder and managing director, Peter Balbus, will be a featured guest on the SkyRadio American Innovators in-flight audio program on American Airlines in August and October, and Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines starting in August and running through December. The program, an interview conducted by SkyRadio host Dennis Michael, features Mr. Balbus explaining the proprietary concept of "Ownable Distinction - the Antidote to Commodization", and how companies of all types and sizes can use the strategy to rapidly achieve and sustain high-margin competitive positioning.

In the interview, Balbus asserts that commodization is a serious threat to virtually all businesses. "Commodization is an erosive competitive condition where it is very difficult for your customers to perceive any meaningful distinction between your products and services and those of your competitors," he said.

He sees commodization occurring in airline travel, automobiles, cell phones, banking, consumer electronics, chemicals, lighting, appliances and many other industries. "If your customers can't perceive any meaningful distinction between your products or services and everyone else's, then they'll almost certainly buy the least expensive one," observes Mr. Balbus. "This leads to lowest cost being the sole basis for competition - a strategy that only the most efficient companies can make work - and usually only at razor-thin margins."

Same Product - Great New Packaging!

Brand extensions and novel packaging are no substitute for real innovation. Ownable Distinction shifts the basis of competition away from cost and towards creating uniqueness that renders the competition largely irrelevant. The core problem is that most companies have been designed with structures, processes and metrics that are not able to effectively address today's fast paced global markets and fierce competitive dynamics that demand real and continuous innovation.

"This is why we see commodization occurring across the board in virtually every industry today", he notes. "It's a sure sign of a systemic failure in companies with their products and services becoming commoditized." The long-term answer to commoditization is true corporate innovation - not just perfunctory makeovers.

Using the innovation techniques of Ownable Distinction, companies are significantly more likely to avoid commoditization and potentially achieve and sustain iconic status within their industries. In his SkyRadio interview, Balbus cites as classic examples the Apple iPod, the reintroduced Volkswagen Beetle and the Motorola RAZR cell phone. But a single iconic product isn't enough to ensure long-term success. Corporate innovation demands a continuous stream of distinctive products over time. Balbus notes, "Of these three companies and their products, only Apple has been able to build on its iconic brand image established with one product and continue to follow-up with similarly iconic products, including the MacBook and iPhone through their systemic product development approach. That's the hallmark of true corporate innovation," he observes.

Mr. Balbus offers 25 years of progressive interim management, management consulting and technology commercialization experience helping organizations define and achieve critical business objectives through the intelligent integration of business and technology strategies. With an educational foundation in chemical engineering and the management of innovation, Mr. Balbus has consistently focused on the commercialization of leading-edge technologies with an emphasis on physical process and materials applications including electronics, nanotechnology, chemicals, energy production, and energy storage and management. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT and has completed the executive program in corporate strategy from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Mr. Balbus served as Chairman and President of the MIT Enterprise Forum from 2005-2007 and is currently a founding officer of the Texas Technology Association, an organization for senior business executives that promotes broad-based technology innovation as a core component of regional economic development. He is a popular speaker at industry conferences.

About Pragmaxis LLC

Pragmaxis LLC is an independent management consulting group that specializes in assisting corporations to define and operationalize technology commercialization and new market initiatives. The firm helps clients understand how specific industries are likely to be shaped by technology, competitive and regulatory forces over the next 5-10 years and how these dynamics will create both specific opportunities and risks.

Pragmaxis offers particular expertise in assisting clients to identify especially compelling opportunities and define alternatives for maximizing the value represented by these opportunities through creative yet pragmatic strategic commercialization and market capture approaches. Industries served include aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, plastics and process synthesis, specialty chemicals, energy, lighting, financial services, consumer goods, medical devices, high-tech, electronics and telecommunications.

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