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CAIL Innovation Blog

The Consequences of not “ Innovating for Impact “

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Many firms have gone out of business or are a fraction of what they could be – because they failed to see emerging trends or didn’t have the courage or ability to do Disruptive Innovation

For example, the iPhone rise to popularity sidelined the early players with mobile communications devices – Nokia and Blackberry. Why?  Because they failed to see the change the smartphone would bring.  And despite being popular phones at the time, because they lost their look ahead abilities or didn’t re-image the future based on a new reality, they missed a huge opportunity to grow their business and the market !

Another example is Eastman Kodak (which dominated photography with their films) – yet failed to see the changes coming with Sony’s digital point and shoot camera. And the missed opportunity only got more substantial with the iPhone. Suffice to say, Kodak is a fraction of the size and value today that it could be – if the company had much more foresight and had developed an entrepreneurial culture.

Then, Sony failed to appreciate how the smartphone would become the go to camera of choice !   And the cycle continues !

Another example is Intel which lost a once in a lifetime opportunity to dominate the electronics in the smartphone market when they couldn’t find a way to address Apple’s manufacturing requirements – despite Steve Jobs wanting Intel to design and manufacture the processor for the iPhone. This resulted in Apple partnering with the TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) who went to become the world’s largest contract manufacturer and now has the technological edge in chipmaking – and a major Intel rival in the foundry space !  Commenting on this later, Intel’s then CEO Mr. Paul Otellini indicated that while his ‘ gut ‘ told him to accept Apple’s terms, he decided not to proceed. As a result –

“ The world would be a lot different if we’d done it. The thing to realize is this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do. At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for – and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t a thing you can make up with volume. In hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought ! “

As these examples clearly show, there are huge implications when an organization struggles with look ahead, adheres to conventional thinking, or fails to meaningfully innovate – to find a way to make good on change or opportunity !

And realize, what “ Got us here – won’t get us there “ !

This is instructive to realize the importance of the organization being good at all forms of innovation – including a core competency in Disruptive Innovation.

To explore how to develop the mindset to “ Innovate for Impact “, see other information at and other sources. As well, you are welcome to contact CAIL.

Feb 13, 2023   CAIL / Ramish Cheema Innovation commentary    905-940-9000

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