It takes a lot of work and sometimes a little luck to succeed in business. Great economic success can be derived from breakthroughs that stem from innovation. Innovation is when something better (i.e. newer, cheaper, faster, or more efficient) is offered to the marketplace. Innovation can mean the creation of a new technology like the telephone, television, or internet but most often innovation is taking things that exist and utilizing them in a way to deliver a product or service better than the competition.
Walmart is able to dominate the retail sector because their business model efficiently delivers products to consumers cheaper than anyone else. Walmart does not make any of the products they sell. They use methods to utilize the resources of their manufacturing partners and other involved parties. McDonalds is a well known brand for fast service, a consistent product, and has also changed over time to offer fresh products as customers have changed their preferences to prefer healthier options. Of course McDonalds will never compare well to a local farmer’s market in terms of nutrition and freshness but they have done well to bend to consumers’ will by listening to the customer and reorganizing their menu to include healthier options than served in the past. Apple Computers is a leader with consumers because they bring new and cool products to market. Their mantra is to produce products for people that can change the world and they have done just that -influencing how people communicate and use technology. Think about the i-phone, i-pods, and tablet computers. People use to read newspapers or have a conversation verbally. Now information arrives with the stroke of a mini-screen and there is an entire generation of young adults that prefer to text opposed to talk on the phone or in-person –not bad, just different.
The world is constantly changing and one certainty about tomorrow is it will be different than today. There will always be room for those whom think, “What if we did things differently, better?” Those are the innovators and they are very important.