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Don’t go the way of the dodo: Making the case for anditive innovation

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The dodo. It’s synonymous with extinction, obsolescence and, at times, even foolishness. It’s certainly not a good example of innovation. Where do these connotations come from?

The dodo was a bird that started out with no competition. It stood tall — three feet, to be exact — on a small island in the Indian Ocean without a fear of predators. As a result, it incrementally evolved to lose its need and ability to fly. In less than 100 years, as humans and new species were introduced to its once isolated home, the dodo became extinct, declining as the world around it outpaced its ability to adapt.

Lessons from the dodo

The plight of the dodo is a lesson that can be applied to innovation. Adding (or, in the dodo’s case, removing) an insular, siloed new feature, product or technology to your company’s offerings is not innovation. Adding calcium to orange juice may appear to be healthier — and sure, it sells — but is it really innovative?

Put this in the context of technology today. Adding a machine-learning component to your research and development department is modern and exciting, but will it transform the experience of all your employees? What about your customers? The answer in these situations is a resounding “no.”

1 + 1 = orange

This is where the concept of “anditive” comes in. Unlike additive creations, anditive indicates two elements that can come together to create something entirely new, different and enduring. 1 + 1 = 2; that’s…

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