Saturday, June 15, 2013

Innovation Zeitgeist: Digital Business Transformation in a World of Too Many Competitors, Amazon Kindle book released this past week.

It's not often I get to announce a book on my blog. This week I released my fifth book, Innovation Zeitgeist: Digital Business Transformation in a World of Too Many Competitors. It's my fourth business book.

The thesis of the book is actually quite simple. We are living in a age where many people are attempting similar innovations at the same time. As a result, entrepreneurs and product managers have to think more carefully about their strategies. 

A key take-off point for the book is the research of Robert Cooper (Winning at New Products), whose research suggests that the strongest predictor of innovation success is offering a differentiated high value product. The two ideas raise the central problem that the book addresses: "How do you achieve high value differentiation if lots of people are offering similar products?"

Innovation Zeitgeist attempts to answer that question and provide help to entrepreneurs and products managers who want to avoid having a me-too product.

In the book, I propose a number of ways of thinking about the problem. For example,

1. Instead of automatically thinking "product innovation", many companies need to think about migrating from product to service, from service to solution, from solution to experiential selling.

2. Instead of thinking only about selling a product, managers need to think about different ways of monetizing a product. The range includes sales and licensing, rental, subscription, advertising supported, sponsored and product placement as potential means of monetization.

3. In a digital age, many content products can have different rights and services attached to them than were attached to the physical version of the product. For example, you used to purchase music in an MP3 format with the right to download the music once. Now, many MP3 sales include cloud storage and streaming for the music purchased. Book content can be bought as a physical book, e-book, audio book or sometimes rented, or sometimes borrowable under a subscription program such as Amazon Prime. Even more interestingly, Amazon now offers some books in both Kindle and audio format with the ability to synchronize both media so that if you wish to continue listening to a book you have been reading in the car, you can switch seamlessly from visual to audio versions.

4. In an accident of timeliness, I also discuss who privacy can be used as a source of differentiation.

Innovation Zeitgest is priced at $2.99. Please read it and because it is published electronically, I plan on incorporating new content as suggestions and examples from readers are submitted to me.

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