The path from idea to successful new product is typically time-consuming, frustrating, and wrought with twists and turns. That is why so many great ideas do not become commercial successes – at least, not immediately. Just look at the video linked here about the recent problems that have grounded the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
As Daniel Michaels reports for the Wall Street Journal: “Companies, governments, and academics have made ‘innovation’ a buzzword for competing in the global economy. Boeing’s experience offers a reminder that innovation — for all its value — doesn’t come as easily as a catchphrase. It can get messy. Boeing, an icon of American ingenuity, has reshaped travel over the past half-century with bold technological leaps such as the 747. The original jumbo jet in 1970 opened air travel to the masses and connected cities as distant as Seattle and Tokyo. The plane cemented Boeing’s position as the world’s premier jetliner producer for three decades. But it first nearly bankrupted the company due to technical problems and slow orders. Boeing’s backers say the Dreamliner will prove just as revolutionary. But its problems again show the traumas that innovation can bring.”
Click the image to read more from Michaels.
Montage by Bruno Mallert
7 Replies to “Innovation Is Often Not Easy to Implement”
There are many new products that could be successful if their rightful innovators stood by them. Many noteworthy products and companies have had their ups and downs, but have persevered. For example the Walt Disney Co., a Fortune 500 Company, was not an instant success. Like Boeing, it also was close to bankruptcy. I believe that companies like Disney and Boeing are successful because they continue to innovate and improve their products as well as their companies.
Although a critical component of a healthy economy and comfortable society, innovation is not without its risks. As seen with Boeing, when companies are so focused on creating the newest, most advanced product, sometimes the idea ends up backfiring. The lesson to be learned is that a company should approach the creation of new products with caution and be sure that they work as they are supposed to otherwise the firm make take a financial hit or worse; someone could get hurt.
When innovating a new product, there are several questions that need to be addressed immediately. Besides the many opinions people may have towards this specific innovation, there are also precautions. It is absolutely true that many ideas and products go to waste due to the lack of advertising and marketing and making it big. Several economic factors are also highly contributed to innovations like this one specifically.
The stat in this article that sparked my interest was that one Boeing plane costs as much as 200,000 iPads. While Apple is the company many people think of when they hear “innovation”, even Apple has had its struggles.
Most recently, Apple released “Maps”, an inferior and somewhat flawed map app, especially when compared to Google Maps (which Apple was trying to wipe out). It is even said on the internet that the executive in charge of Maps was removed from his position.
When a company like Apple can have innovation fails, the stress on Boeing for creating a product worth 200,000 times more (plus human lives) is imaginable.
Innovation, whether on a small scale or a large scale can be a success as long as the right people and resources are utilized. If there is an issue in any part of the production process, the right people need to be around to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. Without a plan innovation is just an idea and will no materialize.