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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Slow Innovation: decelerating in a high-speed world – Board of Innovation

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So why not embrace going slow?

In many cultures, ‘slow’ is seen as a dirty word, with connotations of being lazy, a slacker, or giving up. But slow doesn’t have to mean ineffective. We shouldn’t mistake activity for achievement. 

In reality, some of the most successful companies of our time master this concept of ‘slow innovation.’ Apple is famous for not inventing new products, but perfecting them (e.g. the original MP3 player was actually created by Rio in 1998, with the Apple iPod hitting shelves in 2001). Apple also plays with speed by adding friction into the process of getting their products, with many consumers waiting overnight in line to get their hands on the latest release. Subsequently, consumers value that product even more since they had to put in more time and effort to obtain it.

And there are companies like Ball Corporation, who were strategic about their evolution from a wooden bucket company to a glass jar company, to a metal can company, to a plastic bottle company. What held the organization together for more than 100 years was its overarching identity as the world’s greatest container organization, without becoming too reactive to the latest threat or trend.


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