Seeing What’s Next

Dave Pollard provides “an overview of Michael Porter’s, Peter Drucker’s, and Clay Christensen’s approaches to innovation research.” Some food for thought:

If you want to practice applying these theories and doing your own research, analysis and “what’s next” forecasting, here are three intriguing exercises:

1. Tivo won many awards for its invention of the personal video recorder, which had all sorts of interesting attributes: the ability to record automatically by interfacing with online program guides, the replacement of the much-loathed VCR, the ability to strip out commercials, the ability to do ‘instant replays’ on the fly on any program. But it has not been terribly successful or profitable. Could it reinvent itself or is the advent of competitive PVR technologies built into TVs, satellite systems, and PC video software its death knell?
2. The decision by Mercedes not to introduce its Smart Car into the US market has the industry abuzz, as has its failure to make a profit in Europe. Now, GM is considering introducing a lower-end similar vehicle for $3,000 into the Chinese market, but is concerned about whether this could cannibalize its own markets. What will the future hold for these vehicles?
3. The Apple iPod has been enormously successful, even being able to command a premium price over comparable products made by reputable manufacturers. If you were Sony, what would be your competitive response to the iPod?

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.