Innovation is everything in our ever-changing business world. If you want your business to remain on top, you have to keep up with the latest and greatest trends.
However, there’s also something to be said for “tried and true” business tactics. According to members of Forbes Technology Council, the most innovative companies of the last 20 years had some common keys to their long-term success, and today’s tech leaders can follow in their footsteps. Here’s how you can implement some of the lessons imparted by these technology giants.
1. Be The Best At Something
Searching the Web existed before Google, iPhones were not the first touchscreen phones, Amazon didn’t invent e-commerce and social media companies existed before Facebook. What all these giants did was to make the product better than anyone else. They focused on what their users wanted. They tested every pixel obsessively. They made things better and became the best in their fields. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd
2. Be Customer-Obsessed
Amazon has created raving buyers because the company culture is focused primarily on customer obsession. They start with what customers desire most and work backward from there. It requires a bold, innovative and creative approach to building products and services, and clearly, it works very well. – Mike Pfeiffer, CloudSkills.io
3. Keep Iterating
The most innovative companies have leveraged modern tech to move quickly and expand through iteration. Examples include Amazon’s use of the internet for e-commerce, Google’s search engine, Tesla’s electric cars or Uber’s use of GPS-enabled smartphones to connect passengers with a ride. Tech leaders would do well to emulate the speed, obsessive customer focus and agility of these innovators. – Alexandre Bilger, Sinequa
4. Support Your Technology With Backend Infrastructure
Apple’s iPod transformed how people navigate, organize and listen to music; iTunes transformed the procurement of music and more; and the omnipresent iPhone drove Apple’s revival into the brand it is today. However, Apple also demonstrates enviable mastery in its contracts and licensing negotiations, backend infrastructure, and so on to support an unparalleled user experience (UX). – Anand Janefalkar, UJET
5. Reinvent Rather Than Revise
Companies like Apple, Amazon and Uber gave us new ways of living, not by modifying what already existed, but by reimagining what should exist. The most impactful innovations are those that people haven’t even thought of yet. My advice: Forget what you think you know about an industry, start from scratch based on solid first principles and develop something entirely different. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies
6. Learn And Improve
I think the most successful companies start with something great, but then learn from and improve that concept over time. Look at Netflix, for example. They started with a DVD mailing service, which was game-changing; evolved to streaming video; and then began developing original content. Now they are improving personalization using machine learning—Netflix is always learning and improving. – Amy Czuchlewski, Bottle Rocket
7. Be A Flat Organization
Shifting companies to fewer layers of management has been key to driving business and market agility, better communication, more innovation and, especially, creativity. Business innovates best when employees can voice their ideas and concerns and have them heard. Flat organizations help innovative ideas and evolution happen better and faster, and you need to be quick to compete and win. – Artem Petrov, Reinvently
8. Create A Culture Of Innovation
Innovation only happens if the company culture is such that it breeds innovative thinking. One way that companies can create this innovative culture is through rewarding innovation. Nothing works as well as rewards in getting employees to think of new, innovative ways to solve problems or improve the efficiency of products, services and processes. – Michael Hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.
9. Maintain A Core Vision
The most innovative companies provide customer-driven solutions that solve a real need and pain, sometimes even when it’s not widely recognized. Leaders must build and maintain a core vision that is backed by everyone in the organization and a culture that drives engagement, alignment and a passion for customer success. – Chen Amit, Tipalti Ltd.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Disrupt Your Own Business Model
The most innovative companies aren’t afraid to disrupt legacy industries, disrupt their own business models and jump into new opportunities long before competitors can even dream. Their leaders are able to think 10 steps ahead. They can identify a global problem and quickly form teams to create new business models. The strategy is to innovate fast and get the product to market so it can scale. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
11. Labor For Simplicity
A lot of the most innovative companies labor for simplicity with their products. Apple makes their products so simple to use that toddlers are able to use them. If you own a website or software company, make your site easy to use by focusing on creating an intuitive UX design and making the checkout process seamless. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
12. Master Your Real-Time Data
Over the last 20 years, it has been impossible to ignore the outsized disruptive impact of the digital giants. The commonality? Absolute mastery of real-time data, without which they could not achieve what they do. And they are not slowing down. Leaders today must figure out how to gain command of their real-time data to drive their businesses in the same way. This is non-negotiable in any industry. – Billy Bosworth, DataStax
13. Focus On The Customer Experience
Customer experience is the key to the success of any business, and it applies to all the verticals and types of businesses. Digital solutions must be part of tech leaders’ strategy when it comes to increasing profits and providing an excellent customer experience. The true implementation of artificial intelligence, chatbots, robotic process automation, cloud and big data can bring significant transformation to any organization