A professional marketer committed to innovation in direct marketing, Russell (Rusty) Rahm has over three decades’ experience in growing sales companies. On the advisory board of Think Big Partners, Russell Rahm is an industry leader admired for his innovative approaches to running businesses.
Doing business in an era plagued with disruptive technologies can be unsettling. For successful entrepreneurs, staying ahead of the pack is not only about competing, it’s about survival. And the best way to do this is by weaving innovation into your company’s culture. Take these two lessons on innovation from some of America’s largest companies.
In the 1960s, America’s roads were dominated by US car brands Ford, GM, and Chrysler. So dominant were these companies that they grew complacent. Creativity and innovation were shelved. When Asia’s Toyota and Nissan landed in the US, they capitalized on innovation, growing their market share to what it is today. Lesson: consumers are always on the lookout for better products and services. Complacency in innovation is the enemy of long term success.
When Steve Wozniak talks about Apple’s beginning, he makes reference to how many times he thought their initial product had gone completely off-target. When Apple’s first computers were rolled out, Wozniak thought every person who bought an Apple machine would want to be a programmer. Little did he know that he was laying the foundation for today’s desktop publishing industry. Lesson: accidents can be a good thing. If the public falls in love with your “missed target” so much that it gains tangible value, own it and run with it.