The recent news that Eastman-Kodak had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy created much derision around the fact that Kodak invented the digital camera back in 1975 but failed to exploit this achievement.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing & perhaps we should consider that back in 1975 Kodak had 90% market share of the conventional film market & the vast expansion of digital technology was difficult if not impossible to predict. In 1975 only a handful of hobbyists had a computer at home & most of these were incapable of displaying a decent colour image.
Innovation isn’t easy. Companies have to decide very carefully what to invest in & can spend many millions backing the wrong “horse”
One way to make this process easier is to capture the “Voice of the Customer” by carrying out carefully worded customer surveys, engaging the customer in online conversations via Social Media, having effective call centers & by analysing customer return data. All of these activities can help organisations predict market trends.
The closer the supplier can get to its customers the better the chance of Innovation success.
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