Innovation Value is in Business Models, Not Products

18 09 2008

BusinessWeek has some data in this week’s issue on revenue and profit growth for companies named to its Most Innovative Companies list, with some clear dominance from companies seen as innovating business models (in yellow below) – as opposed to customer experiences (green), business processes (purple), or products (blue).

BusinessWeek

Source: BusinessWeek

This is in line with research from innovation consultancy Doblin, which finds a bit of an 80-20 rule about innovation: ~80% of innovation is in products that account 20% of the value growth, while ~20% of innovation is in business models and other more lucrative areas that generate 80% of the growth.  Doblin’s reasoning: product innovation is often needed just to keep up, while business models can revolutionize value creation.

Business model innovation has led to a host of recent developments, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), fractional ownership, pay per use/rental/subscription services in music and movies, and even advertising (witness Microsoft’s cashback Search).





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 »