A brief word on innovation. This morning I read a great article in New York Magazine about “the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs of the future,” a dizzying look at the new entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and their constant determination to innovate, invent and execute. (A memorable “party” scene in The Social Network depicts Zuckerberg and his team crowded around a group of coders, whooping and egging them on. For every tenth line of code written, the coders have to take a shot. Adrenaline is running high; the atmosphere electric).
One of the article’s main points is the execution of ideas – fast execution. That is, generating products and services faster than competitors. In other words, while perfecting a product takes time, a finished imperfect product is still finished.
As public relations professionals, we may recommend a different execution mindset than that of technology entrepreneurs. While building a brand’s messaging and positioning demands time and thorough research, the innovation puzzle piece should also play a role – it is a key differentiator to any campaign or strategy. Remember that innovation looks different across the board, from a rowdy coding session to simply changing up the format of team brainstorming sessions.
So, today is a gentle reminder that while the omnipresent word “innovation” can seem like a tired, overly-hyped phrase, it is a reputation tool for the kit. Think outside the proverbial box and remember to move ideas into action. If “half of life is showing up,” the other half has to be what you do when and after you show up.
P.S. An innovation shout to our hometown newspaper the Boston Globe – they recently launched an “all-in-one” website, able to be viewed just as easily on a desktop website, tablet optimized apps or on a cell phone. Bring on more “responsive design” programs.