Innovation 101

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

We are in the midst of an era of sweeping change, with major challenges to address, such as poverty, and new planets to explore, like Mars. With all of the recurring talk of change and reinvention, it’s a given that the word innovation is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs believed that innovation distinguishes a leader …

Starbucks

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is a visionary man. His Starbucks vision has catapulted the company to the exalted position of the world’s No. 1 coffee retailer. Today, there are some 25,572 Starbucks stores worldwide and in 2016 Starbucks registered its highest profits ever, contributing to an 11% leap in annual revenue. While the success of Starbucks is driven in part …

Amazon

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

Amazon has changed the way America shops. In September 2016, Bloomberg reported that more than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on Amazon.com’s site or mobile app. That was an early distant warning. America’s retail establishment was not prepared for what was to happen next. As of Spring 2017, some 2,671 major U.S. retail stores will be …

Amazon Echo Look

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

One of the biggest challenges innovation consultants and speakers face is the “inertia of the installed base” — as legendary founder of Ziff-Davis, Bill Ziff, liked to put it. Retailers eagerly listen to innovation presentations or participate in interactive workshops, but once again Amazon rewrote the rules of retail innovation with the launch of Echo Look. The inertia of the …

Devialet Silver Phantom

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

Major innovations in audio technology were last introduced by the likes of Bose, Dahlquist, Magneplanar and Quad in the 1970s. But a French company, Devialet is causing big bass vibrations throughout the audio industry with an innovative line of speakers called Phantom. The audiophile speaker market is a relatively staid business, especially when compared to its complementary electronics counterpart, think …

Four SXSW Takeaways

Michael Tchong Innovation

SXSW was, as usual, a spectacle to be experienced. Here are some key takeaways: Multitasking events – SXSW may remind you of the COMDEX conferences of yore, but with a twist. While there were many corporate parties at that long-forgotten Las Vegas event, most did not feature “content” as the main draw. Lesson: business prospects like to be entertained and …

Top 10 Innovators

Michael Tchong Innovation

Like that year-end ritual where some organizations claim to be able to pick the hottest trends of the next year, some market watchers compile lists of the top (fill-in-the-blank) most innovative companies. As much as trends do not adhere to calendar years, innovators defy ranking. A few weeks ago, Fast Company did its best to try to shoehorn 50 companies …

Pioneer Rayz: When Opportunity Knocks

Michael Tchong Innovation

Apple’s decision to remove the audio port from the iPhone 7 resulted in a public outcry of world-ending proportions. To some Apple aficionados, it was Armageddon meets invasion of the headphone port snatchers. But as any creative individual will tell you, problems spell opportunity. And so Pioneer this week launched its Rayz headset that adds a Lightning port to its …

HP Spectre 13

Michael Tchong Innovation Comments

We love laptops so much that aficionados at NotebookReview have given it the oh-so-cute diminutive “lappy.” The innovative new HP Spectre 13 ($1,170) qualifies as our latest seductress with her beautiful lines and very sexy copper accents.