IdeaComb Blog

Creating New Significance from Old Innovations

Away from the Old, in the New! That’s the path of Innovation. 21st century showcases notable examples such as Computers override typewriters, Smartphones, Tablets superseded telephones & HDD demand; instant cooking replaced domestic cooking methods.

Innovation is one of the most acknowledged aspects of technology. Business, Corporate, Enterprises, leaders consider innovation a core competence, the only way to assure market place strength. Every market is characterized by a trend where old replaces new one at regular intervals keeping stock fresh and attractive. And this is the Natural innovation phenomena where old gets dumped and new is highlighted.

But what happens to the technology behind the product innovation, does it loses its value forever? Can it be reused? Can old innovation create new values? Is it possible to prolong life of old technologies?

The answer all such questions could be yes.

Ryan Raffaelli, Harvard Business School Professor Stated “Every once in a while, though, an old technology rises from the ashes and finds new life.”

Let’s consider the example of a Swiss watch industry, which Re-emerged from a margin of collapse to a success peak only because they preserved the old innovation and gave a new dimension to the very same by creating a new value to it. This was when Japanese companies entered into competition with swiss watches introducing low cost, accurate quartz watches which resulted in Swiss Quartz crisis in 1983. Companies like Seiko and Casio seized the quartz market. And the impact was Two –third of Swiss citizens lost their watch industry job. Yet, Switzerland reemerged as the global leader of watch exports (export value), due to a newfound market demand for old-style mechanical watches. Read Story. This curious comeback was possible, clearly because they had preserved their old innovations. As time passed the same old innovation/technology was brought out with new value addition and made success.

There are many such live examples, where we can find a booming revival of old.

The beverage company Coca Cola introduced its plastic bottles from its old concept of famous contour bottles and experienced a double measure sales hike in a few markets. Necco wafer sales went high when it took a strategic decision to revert back to its original packaging design which was again like coming back to the roots. Volkswagen the German luxury car manufacturer brought in its new Beetle distinctive bubble shaped car which combined of old VW Bug model with the latest automotive technology to produce 21St Century car with 20th Century Styling.

More and more enterprises are realizing, and have discovered that the history of warm memories is an exploitable asset which carries potential to fetch out new unique values irrespective of time period validity.

Many Firms innovate with the support of its special old components; and that it has been the reasons for its survival and Success.

Today, the call is, how much do we value our old innovation values? It’s time for enterprises which are on the verge of extinction as well as successful one, to rethink of values which could be provided with a makeover creating successful value output out of old innovations.
Posted in Innovation Management, Managing Innovation