innovation insights

Innovation Insight: “Type and navigate with ease”

One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

Research in Motion is takings its lumps these days, but I am impressed by RiM’s new 9900 series BlackBerry. Since fully touch-screen phones came out, I have resisted. I am not a short-form, emoticon kind of guy, and I never felt touch-screen phones were conducive to the long-form e-mails that occupy my day.

I always hoped somebody would combine a sturdy keypad with touch-screen navigation. Well, BlackBerry’s done it. Who knows, if the financial pundits would only leave them to their innovating ways, we might see more of the ground-breaking innovation that took RiM to the top for so long.

As tough as it may be, every company needs to block out the noise and keep a focused eye on new and relevant product introductions. Always.

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Innovation Insight: About 3,560,000 results (in 0.09 seconds)

One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO


So, I Googled the phrase “selling non-core assets” and you can see the results! Clearly, business leaders are hungry for information on how to offload underperforming assets and get back to growth from the core.

These search statistics confirm my inspiration for co-authoring The 90% Rule: What’s Your Next Big Opportunity – a book about growing through innovation in adjacent markets that you already know and understand.  The initial inspiration for the book was the constant flow of stories about companies selling their non-core assets.

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Innovation Insight: The Dove Spa Experience

One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO


Leaving a meeting the other day in Toronto, I found myself walking past a Dove Spa – one of a growing chain of spas designed by the makers of Dove soap and beauty products.  I am not the target user, but I was impressed. I was impressed by the clean, minimalist form and function of the design. But I was even more impressed by the focus with which Dove has recreated the brand’s innovation strategy in business form.

As Dove says on its Web site, “At Dove Spa our philosophy is simple – we want to make women feel more beautiful every day by inspiring them to take great care of themselves.” This is yet another extension of Dove’s award-winning focus on “real beauty.” This commitment to “real beauty” from the original “beauty bar” (Dove has always positioned itself as more than a maker of soap) is continually opening doors for one of the world’s biggest and most elastic brands.

Is your company in the business of making soap, or selling beauty? Don’t focus on what you make, but how you change customers’ lives. Do you sell hotel rooms or help people book dream nights? The choice is yours.

If your business’ definition is too narrow, what can your growth prospects be?

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