A BBC News article provides a great insight into the revolution in the making that the car industry is about to go through. KPMG sums it up in their annual survey of the auomotive industry: “The world is moving from car ownership to car usership.” Arguably it will take longer than headline-grabbing statements suggest, not least because a large section of the consumer base still feels a strong emotional connection to the car they own or that they wish to own, but it is undeniably underway.
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Schumpeter defines innovation as a process of creative destruction. The point is not merely that innovation can still happen in times of crisis; it is that crisis are the best time for era-defining innovations to emerge. In yesterday’s session of the Mardis de l’Innovation cycle (in French), Marc Gigethighlighted a few powerful examples of companies, which emerged or re-emerged stronger out of the Great Depression of the 30s with winning products, such as GE and its refrigerators and washing machines, Converse and its emblematic (and ugly) shoes, or the entire machine-tool sector. As it turned out, the Great Depression became one of the most innovative periods in American history.
Today, some post-crisis winners are already emerging, though others may still be in the making. Examples include:
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Patent searching, filing and policing is rapidly becoming a drag on organizations’ resources and agility. The likes of Apple and Samsung only manage to neutralize each other in epic but ultimately no-value-adding battles, pharmaceutical giants are increasingly pressurized to limit the reach of their patents, all industrial sectors produce patents in great numbers without preventing in the end everyone from copying everyone else. While I appreciate this is a simplistic generalization, I get the feeling that the whole business around patents has reached the point of creating more costs than benefits for innovative companies. The time for a new approach has come: enters Mario Kart.
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