Business has fallen in love with the term innovation many years ago and the and the feeling bright flame keeps burning. Do you want to impress your investors and make the stock go higher? Just say that in the next 12 months the company focus would be on innovation. The word has become a custom ID badge for promising ventures and it happened for a reason. What I wrote above might sound ironic or even sarcastic but if you look at kef factors for success of the largest companies of today’s world such as Apple, Google or Amazon you confirm right away that innovative approach to often known or even worn solutions could be a springboard for an enormous success.
Such bold and groundbreaking approach doesn’t guarantee success without other pieces falling into place or if the timing is wrong. For example tablet devices failed to impress the market many times before iPad launch in 2010; even after huge iPhone success many expert and commentators gave a grim outlook for a new tablet device. It could have been Steve Jobs genius touch but it didn’t help Apple TV solution which end up as failure. Since innovation has potential for commercial success it naturally attracts attention yet it’s hard to be very genuine in quite a few industries. Still many major players make bold ideas a part of their identification philosophy and marketing strategy.
Commercial air travel is a branch of travel industry that seems hard to change with some outstanding ideas but it doesn’t mean you can’t draw some attention this way. Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair is widely known for his controversial ideas. Low cost carrier executive likes to make a comment of a drastic change to the way we fly which immediately sparks media attention. Probably two most known innovation ideas were standing air tickets and single pilot flights. Any commercial aviation expert would laugh off both concepts as fantasies with slim to none chance to make it into actual practice but the news would be carried and commented for a long time. O’Leary admitted openly that he makes these kind of statements as a cheap version of Public Relations. Such person credibility fades after some time but it doesn’t mean others are not tempted to do the same.
I have a feeling that Amazon delivery drones plans are just an attempt to catch some publicity when the company fuel for growth has reached vapor levels. The stock has been losing value since February after long period of rapid growth which started back in 2009. Airspace might look pretty empty for the most part but it’s actually heavily regulated and automated air package carriers would have to hit thick wall of regulations and safety concerns. Moreover such way of delivering goods means job cuts for wheel based delivery services. Such initiative is unlikely to get any political support needed to pass legislation for allowing the newest way of transporting products from the merchant to the customer. Retail and e-commerce may have the innovation peak behind them already but an ID badge of innovative company is just really hard to be given up these days.