MBA 101: Breaking The Mold

Nov. 23, 2008
Just saw a presentation on innovation and breaking paradigms, and the list of successful examples the speaker gave was endless. Many of them I'd heard before -- for example, the famous list of boneheaded quotes made by technology leaders over the years, ...

Just saw a presentation on innovation and breaking paradigms, and the list of successful examples the speaker gave was endless. Many of them I'd heard before -- for example, the famous list of boneheaded quotes made by technology leaders over the years, the Xerox machine, all the way up through Salesforce.com etc.

Some of them I hadn't heard before -- such as the Swiss watch manufacturing industry passing up on the quartz watch back in the 1980s, even though it was invented in Switzerland and exclusively presented to them first, and was an invention that (because of markedly lower production costs and markedly higher accuracy) had the potential to reshape their industry. Not only did they pass on producing the watches, but they didn't even protect the idea -- because it didn't fit their paradigm of what a watch was.

The speaker concluded with a question that I thought would be good to pass on as food for thought:

What today is impossible to do in your industry, but if it could be done, would be a total game-changer?

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