A recent article by Chris Boorman of Automic explains why innovation isn’t simply about who is holding the newest toy. When it comes to innovation, new Gartner studies suggest that consumers are looking for more than the shiniest gadget. Rather, innovation is defined by number of factors, ranging from the quantifiable to the intangible.
One of the largest influencing factors within the shifting landscape of consumer expectations are the unicorns.
The “Unicorns”, a hot term within the business world, refer to young startup companies (think Uber, Dropbox, and AirBnB) that have reached and far surpassed the $1 billion valuation mark early within their lives. These companies, often described broadly as “innovative” are marked by the ways in which they have disrupted their respective industries and markets.
Granted, “disrupted” is a fairly negative sounding word to use in this context. While these unicorns are known as “market disrupters” the enthusiasm or bitterness with which this phrase is spoken depends entirely on the speaker. There are many traditional companies who find themselves panting to keep up with the unicorn companies who are racing ahead in a permanently changed market landscape. For these companies, “market disrupter” is surely a negative term. To many consumers however – particularly the generations that grew up with a cell phone in their pockets – to be called a “market disrupter” is a badge of honor.
It is within this dynamic that the word “innovation” indicates such a complex concept. Innovation is not merely limited to the creation of the newest tech, it also indicates an ability to see the world in a unique way, and apply that uncommon thinking to every area: design, customer service, marketing, finance, etc.
More and more, the ability to think in this way – to embody a lifestyle of “innovation”- is the determining factor behind the failure or success of a company. How then, do traditional companies keep up? If anyone knew the answer to that question, they would be ahead of the unicorns within the blink of an eye. Until then however, Chris Boorman gives a great analysis and a big tip that Tricentis can stand behind 100%: Automation.
When it comes to a market of speed, being a unicorn is good, but being a cheetah is better.