Important Reminder: Your Innovations Are Not Immortal

from the changing-with-the-times dept

Brian sends in a short blog post from Scott Anthony, highlighting a key point we've tried to make around here for years, Your Innovations Aren't Immortal:
Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: "My [business model, product, business unit, brand, offering] has a finite life. I'm going to make that life as happy and productive as possible, but I also have to think about what's next."
This is a major issue, and could be the underlying theme of a good percentage of posts around here. Companies or individuals who think that they have some inalienable "right" to have their innovation remain at the top of the market, even as others out-innovate them. It comes from a massive sense of entitlement, that if you innovated once, no one else should be allowed to out-innovate you, and the government should somehow protect your position as an innovative leader. We've jokingly referred to this as companies charging others with "felony interference with a business model."

Innovation is an ongoing process, and that's true for everyone. It's not a once-and-done thing, and whatever innovation you did yesterday is obsolete. You need to keep innovating. Paraphrasing what someone else in the link above says, you need to innovate at the pace of the market. The problem is that many try to use politicians and the court system to slow down the market, rather than innovating along with it.

Conceptually, this is difficult for many. They feel a sense of accomplishment for what they've done, and would like to have the time to bask in that accomplishment. But history has shown that there's no time to bask -- only time to keep innovating. And while that may not seem to be as much fun, it does give you an ongoing sense of accomplishment and makes the world better for everyone at the same time. Who would complain about that, other than those who can't keep up?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Ed Woychowsky, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 1:39am

    Felony Interference Of A Business Model

    Perhaps the response to "Felony Interference Of A Business Model" should be "Felony Living In The Past".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 2:50am

    What I find STRANGE.

    Is that I wonder the WB, cartoon sites.
    And they HAVE a good selection on TV, LONG ago..
    IF they would release the OLD SERIES they used to have,
    FROM popeye, Scooby doo, and all the rest that they have BOUGHT over the years...
    They could FILL a site and be VERY VERY POPULAR..
    They dont and wont.
    Even of the expired cartoons, from 10 years ago, they havnt Installed them on the net. its stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    C Magnus Berglund, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 3:24am

    Thank god.

    I am grateful for the limited life span of patent rights. You see, I am an inventor myself and got a patent i several countries, or rather my previous company have the patent. Since it's used as a blocking patent, preventing other companies to use my invention, I hope there still will be some interest in my invention the day the patent rights expires. Because I have to admit I would be proud if my invention was every used in real world.
    Until the I continue to do what I can in the swedish pirate party to get things fixed! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    barrenwaste (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 4:28am

    on again off again

    On topic:

    I am an author. I write for money. I like to be paid lots of money. I do not care if my writing still generates money when I am dead. My sons and daughters have no claim on the fruits of MY labor. If I am able to put some in a fund, so be it. If not, then they have to work, too. Pay me a percentage, or flat sum. I do not care. If, in ten years another author picks up where I left off....good. Then my writing never dies. Should I be paid because thier efforts enhanced my own? I don't see why, they did the enhancing. I don't see why it should be any different with patents. You make a chair, I make it better. You want more money? Make my better chair even better. Make it faster or cheaper or more comfortable. Don't whine cause you can't keep up with me.

    Off Topic:

    At least the bots are pleasant....

    Off Topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: What I find STRANGE.

    It's called syndication. Those 'toons are still being shown on TV, so they still make money off them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Re: Nice...

    Hate to break this to you but Eunice Kennedy died two days ago...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Danny, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Who would complain about that, other than those who can't keep up?

    Sadly I don't think its a matter of not being able to keep up but rather of thinking they should not have to keep up so I would rephrase this as:

    Who would complain about that, other than those who don't think they should have to keep up?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 13th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    Re: Nice...

    that is some weird spam...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Pitabred, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    Re: Felony Interference Of A Business Model

    Seconded. I think the reason for this "living in the past" is that it's really only recently that business models have a shorter lifespan than the people running them. We're accelerating the rate at which business models become obsolete, accelerating technological development, and we've crossed from the point where a business model was a lifetime commitment to where it's simply a long-term commitment now. People generally think in 3 dimensions... changing the 4th dimension really screws with most of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    staff1, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    i agree

    "Companies or individuals who think that they have some inalienable "right" to have their innovation remain at the top of the market, even as others out-innovate them. It comes from a massive sense of entitlement, that if you innovated once, no one else should be allowed to out-innovate you, and the government should somehow protect your position as an innovative leader. We've jokingly referred to this as companies charging others with "felony interference with a business model."

    You must be talking about Microsoft and their pals who are trying to deform the patent system. For once, you're right!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    George Margolin, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Your Innovations and Mortality

    Mike -- until THIS posting -- I have considered you to be like a bar of Ivory soap, in revers. Remember "99.44% Pure?"Well, I must admit that though I have always considered you bright, I have also been CERTAIN that you were horribly wrong headed and anti-patent/inventor/innovation/creativity and PRO the entrenched Dinosaurs that you are are hereby properly calling out. So back to Ivory soap -- I have been CERTAIN that you were 99.44% WRONG on everything related to creativity,inventors and patents. So to me, a eons long professional inventor, it is amazing that you were able to be RIGHT by using the one fourty fourth of ONE percent to write this "Right On" posting. Congratulations and please, please keep up the good work on the RIGHT SIDE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    George Margolin, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: Your Innovations and Mortality

    Sorry -- though I call myself "Typos are us" I MUST correct a line from this post. READ "a eons long AS AN EONS LONG INVENTOR

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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