Innovation Beyond Apple

February 21, 2010

Apple Inc - Photo from my iBook
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By Les Berglass

Retail experiences, marketing platforms, partnerships are as important as new products.

When it comes to innovation, many executives in the consumer goods industry are chasing Apple. Who can blame them? While most retailers spent the holiday season slashing prices, Apple reported record earnings by enchanting audiences with iPhones. Now, as retailers try to re-engage consumers this year, executives are trying to replicate the “Apple thrill.”

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The State of Entrepreneurship

February 21, 2010

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by Carl J. Schramm, President and CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

We are meeting here today at a grave moment in our national economic life. The recession that began just over two years ago has taken a horrific toll on this country. Despite so-called “green shoots” that economists claim to see sprouting up around every corner, the recession continues to be all too real for fifteen million unemployed Americans, a number that worsened last month despite this incipient recovery. While there is no magic solution to this, I want to talk today about a possible answer.

Now, in the time it took for me to say those few sentences, one new company was founded in the United States, creating four new jobs. By the time I finish this speech, twenty new firms will have been started, creating roughly eighty new jobs. This is the hope and power of entrepreneurship—and while entrepreneurs are not the sought-after silver bullet, economic recovery will not happen without them.

I approach this as an economist, a class of thinkers now notorious for their failure to foresee the financial crisis and recession, yet insistent on their ability to bring us out of it. But I also stand here as the president of a foundation, whose donor, Ewing Kauffman, appreciated the contributions entrepreneurs make to our economy and society.

Read the entire transcript of the State Of Entrepreneurship Address

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by Eric Almquist and Jason Lee
Most preference-rating tools are flawed because customers have a hard time articulating their true desires. To remedy that problem, companies need a way to help their customers sharpen the distinction between what’s “nice to have” and what they “gotta have.” Maximum Difference Scaling (or “Max Diff”) ratings ask customers to make explicit trade-offs, allowing their real preferences to emerge.

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by Hiroshi Makioka, Jean-Philippe Biragnet and Mike Booker

Driven by sophisticated consumers, Japanese companies are highly evolved as innovators. And they’ve been dealing with downturns since Japan’s financial crisis began in the 1990s. Demanding consumers and prolonged economic hard times have taught Japanese companies how to adapt, and some are emerging as winners.

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