The idea for Innovation in Action came about after many years of creating superior products and services and seeing them not be nearly as successful as they could have been. There is more to success than the idea itself and taking your product or service from the idea stage to the reality stage takes experience, foresight and an effective approach towards development. It doesn't end there though.
Many a great idea has been implemented to have the company never reach its true potential. Some exist for many years as a viable concern, others vanish quietly and then there are those that implode taking vast sums of resources with them. And, I have firsthand experience as an employee and consultant of companies that fit each of these scenarios.
Many people ask, "Why do companies with good ideas that produce superior products or services fail?" Here are a few reasons:
I began building E-Commerce solutions in 1999. Some of the more visible sites through the years have included Kitchen Aid, Conair, Remington, Orange County Choppers (OCC), and Case Logic.
Have a business need? I can work with you on the vision and strategy to fully define your goals and execute on the delivery of the solution you need now and a roadmap to reach your longer term goals.
Remember IRMA (3270 terminal emulation) cards for PC's? Well, what we (a group of 3 of us) created were a number of IBM 3270 terminal connect products that expanded the number of ports on a 3270 terminal controller at the location of the terminals. No additional long wiring runs. One of the products went the extra step to allow you to use the COM (RS-232) port on a PC running our full 3279 terminal emulation and file transfer software without any extra hardware and providing connections for 5 PC's per single 3270 port.
Speaking of IBM 3270 controllers. In the old days it used to be that mainframe devices needed to be within a certain proximity of the mainframe itself. This was measured in feet within the machine room. But, what about if you wanted to share a device on one coast with a mainframe on the other coast, or just across a city? Here I designed the algorithm that would allow channel connected devices to work over an unlimited distance.
A hand-held PC? So what's the big deal? Well, it was 1993 and this was a hand-held PC that ran off the shelf PC programs. My part of the project was to take a buggy OEM BIOS, fix-it and customize it for the hand-held. Even doing things like hibernate. It ran slow, but it was cool.
Ever enter a grocery store and wish you could get coupons for purchases you planned to make during that shopping trip? Well, that's basically what we created, a personalized coupon dispenser that showed you targeted promotions based upon your shopping history, before you shopped. It worked great, but was a little ahead of its time.
First there were web sites with information, and then there was e-Commerce. We created a site, and one of the first businesses, that combined shopping AND learning into 1, easy to navigate, site. Now the norm, we were way ahead of our time.
Now everyone can get out of a car lease, but that wasn't always the case. We at LeaseTrading were the first to create a secondary market for transferring leased autos. We worked with Edmunds, MSN Carpoint, Kelley Blue Book, Yahoo and a number of the auto manufacturers and finance companies in the early days on the web for auto information and sales and led the transformation of the leasing industry into allowing the transfer of auto leases.
As CIO I took a minimal and barely functioning site and turned it into an award winning online learning center complete with differentiated instruction, courses, quizzes, tests, assessments, and a full complement of administrative tools and reports for learning, administration and classroom management. The real test of a learning center though is testing and proving its effectiveness. During a period of time, as both CIO and acting COO, I spoke with educators, students, and our alliance partners, analyzed results, modified the learning center, and re-analyzed student and class usage and results showing improved outcomes.
Sorry, it's a secret, but what I can tell you is that it is an educational system that incorporates distance learning with videos, significant amounts of user interaction and a "sand-box" approach for students to use what they are learning in the real world.
There are a few others that were a secret at the time of development but portions may be discussed now, so just ask for more information.
There are others, but those are just a few I thought I would share. Each of them
a great idea that went on to be a fully operational product or service with most companies having since been acquired or spun-off.
Please contact Marc if you have work or an opportunity that you would like to discuss, an idea you are looking for another persons objectivity on, need help getting something launched, transitioned or operational and want to succeed, or just simply would like to get in touch.