Marco Robben
By Marco Robben
5 years ago | comments

Market Innovation

Blog post | Management test Market Innovation


Cheat! (Ga Vreemd! in Dutch) is the provocative title of a book by Rob Adams on how as a company to stand out from your competitors with market innovation. It is a book full of humor, cynicism and self-deprecating about why most organizations are not innovative or do not stand out positively.

Without market no innovation

Rob Adams introduces the concept of market innovation to indicate that innovation should be focused on creating value in a market. In other words, an innovation is only useful if customers use it.

The book contains some interesting examples of innovative companies like Brainwash and Sample Lab. Brainwash is originally a Dutch chain of barbershops where fun for customers and employees is paramount and the client is serviced for a fixed low price. Sample Lab is a Japanese market research buro where both producers and consumers pay to try out the latest products.

Arithmetic averages say nothing

The reader should have a lot of confidence and sense of humor to want to read further after the first part of the book. Rob Adams gives many recognizable examples of the pitfalls and everyday concerns within organizations that obstruct real and structural innovation. A typical comment is, for example, that the use of arithmetic averages in customer surveys says nothing and is not usable. An example: “if you stand with your left leg in water of 5 degrees and with your right leg in water of 55 degrees, then the average temperature is quite enjoyable, but in the meantime both of year feet die.”

Learn from other sectors

Main message from Rob Adams is that as an organization you should look at what companies in other industries do to achieve market innovation in your own industry. By looking at what your competitors are doing (benchmarking) you will never distinctive.

The book described some activities you need to do to get market innovation and what doesn’t work. However, after reading the entire book, you think of all innovation inhibiting properties of most organizations, you can only conclude that real market innovation is restricted to only a few. For the others remains a consolation. After a period of good money with mediocrity just take over an innovative company.

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