Innovation in Services: Miriam’s Kitchen

18 10 2007

The value creators in our new economy are providing exceptional experiences by outperforming their niche in an industry network or tying together the nodes of the network and packaging the whole thing in innovative ways.

As part of my recent course at Darden on Innovation and Integration in Services – The New Economy, I made observations on a number of innovations as examples of value creation in this flat, networked world. This is my submission on Miriam’s Kitchen.

THE SERVICE

This organization falls strongest in the “Make Their Day” and “Be There” categories of the Fish! Philosophy. Miriam’s Kitchen, a provider of meals and additional services to homeless people in Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC

HOW IS IT INNOVATIVE? WHY DID IT GRAB YOUR ATTENTION?

Miriam’s Kitchen is noteworthy for a number of characteristics. It has always used hot meals as a way to gather people who could benefit from the area’s social services and introduce those services in a non-threatening manner. In that sense, the dining room aggregates a target audience and makes additional, highly valuable services know. Second, Miriam’s Kitchen attracted a great New York chef to run the soup kitchen. His culinary smarts have helped form food partnerships with local distributors and restaurants Read the rest of this entry »





Innovation in Services: Zillow for Real Estate

9 10 2007

The global economy continues to undergo seismic shifts. Previous vertically integrated industries became segmented by horizontal service providers, then disjointed as loosely connected networks of service providers. The value creators in the new economy are providing exceptional experiences by outperforming their niche in the network or tying together the nodes of the network and packaging the whole thing in innovative ways.

As part of my recent course at Darden on Innovation and Integration in Services – The New Economy, I made observations on a number of innovations as examples of value creation in this flat, networked world. This is my submission on Zillow.com and the “web 2.0-ing” of real estate.

THE SERVICE

Zillow.com: online, satellite imagery-enabled web site for real estate listings, guides, and discussion.

HOW IS IT INNOVATIVE? WHY DID IT GRAB YOUR ATTENTION?

Zillow.com combined the mass of information on residential real estate, including public appraisals, tax records, and sales records, to provide the most innovative website for real estate listings since Realtor.com. Users can search by various purchase criteria (price, square footage, home features, zip code, specific street, etc.) and find a zoomable satellite map with currently listed properties highlighted, a pricing chart for local real estate prices over time, recent sales data, and user-generated “Make Me Move” prices for homes that aren’t even for sale – but could be for the right price! Read the rest of this entry »