Innovation & Creativity

These are this week’s lesson questions that we are discussing in our marketing course. I won’t bore you with the textbook definitions or the positive or negative issues, but rather share my examples of the topics.

1. What is a “Product Innovation Charter”?  and why is it important to the NPI process?

During the 80’s and 90’s, I worked for our family’s computer consulting corporation. Our PIC strategy was basically to compete against IBM by selling a compatible PC that was tailored made for our customers for practically half the price. This PIC strategy worked great for our NPI process because computer technology was advancing so quickly.

This lasted up until ready-made computers came about from Gateway and Dell that allowed any customer to pre-order online their new computer with pre-installed software. Our PIC strategy quickly changed to offering a service rather than a product, as we became, “The Best Computer Repair Shop in the Tri-State area for 25 years”.

Without innovative thinking, with the assessment of new manufacturers in technology, and the viable market need to service different computers, we quickly would have sunk. Yes, it helped that my father was a genius with computers, programming, and a great entrepreneur.

2. What is Open Innovation?  Is it better than closed innovation models?

One example of Open Innovation that I follow closely is from 2016 with the partnership between IBM’s Watson and Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB). These two companies are working together to help improve the graduating rate of GEB pups in training by 20%. I find it interesting as to how Watson technology, improved genetics, training of pups, and matching of dogs, will ultimately benefit the lives of the visually impaired.

To learn more about how Watson & GEB are accomplishing this together, read this article: or watch their video:

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