4. innovation is inherently disruptive. Not necessarily. To be sure, authors like Clay Christensen and myself have spent much of our life’s work chronicling the impact of disruptive innovation, but it is only one type among many. And the more established your company, the less likely it is a type for you to specialize in. Alternatives include application innovation, product innovation, platform innovation, line extension innovation, design innovation, marketing innovation, experiential innovation, value engineering innovation, integration innovation, process innovation, value migration innovation, and acquisition innovation. This last one, in particular, is usually an established enterprise’s best bet for dealing with disruption.
2. Innovation is hard. Actually, it is not. What is hard is deploying innovation, especially in an established enterprise. That’s because the critical deployment resources are all engaged trying to make the quarter on the back of the existing offer set in the existing market categories. They cannot be bothered with next-generation responsibilities when their current ones are hanging by a thread. The net result: Too often, when a genuinely innovative offer is ready to go to market, there is simply no one there to sponsor it, and it dies on the vine.
Rather than build farms of towering wind turbines in rural areas, some companies are designing “micro,” or small-scale, turbines that fit on top of buildings. The idea is to generate electricity from wind in urban or suburban settings.
In their pitch for the technology, the companies are going beyond satisfying the growing interest in clean forms of energy. AeroVironment, Aerotecture and a handful of other businesses are marketing their turbines not just as power generators, but also as attractive additions to existing structures.