Always in Beta: How big Business Can Benefit from

Dell and Procter & Gamble Innovation Leaders Share Web 2.0 Transformation Insight—The Slow Boil

Forrester Consumer Forum 2007 ChicagoThe Global Human Capital Journal’s coverage of the Forrester Consumer Forum 2007 continues with this session on what I’ll hazard to call Innovation 2.0 ,^). David Armano of Critical Mass moderated this an infectious session. It was clear that Proctor & Gamble’s Stan Joosten and Dell’s Manish Mehta had been in the innovation trenches, and their comments were extremely valuable.

A key ingredient to Web 2.0’s transformational potential is that the technology is an order of magnitude more explicit, easy to use and less costly. It’s possible, and desirable in many cases, to take small steps. On the other hand, Dell took a risky step in launching Direct to Dell in the midst of serious customer service problems, and it leveraged blogs to turn the situation around.

The Global Human Capital Journal published the overall conference wrap as well as in-depth coverage of several sessions. Access all through the link to the conference logo (right). Other articles will be published in the days ahead, and […]

Irrational Behavior

In the entry on innovation, I mentioned that an excessive focus on the numbers produced irrational behavior, and I found a perfect example of it this morning. Coca-Cola spends millions of dollars on developing new flavors of Coke, most of which have proven to be well publicized, expensive flops, at least compared to projected goals. According to The Wall Street Journal (“U.S. Thirst for Mexican Cola Poses Sticky Problem for Coke“), the growing Hispanic community in the U.S., a large portion of which is from Mexico, thirsts for its home-grown version of Coke, which Coca-Cola refuses to import due to its agreements with U.S. bottlers. Some enterprising distributors manage to quasi-circumvent the system to import just under $120 million of soda into the U.S. each year. Coke threatens retailers and distributors with legal niceties when bottlers cry foul but otherwise looks the other way.

Let me get this right. Coke spends millions on developing product extensions that flop, yet it has a $120 million nascent market for a product that already exists, which it is resisting.. all because of its relationship with its distribution channel. This is a perfect example of industrial economy thinking: restrict and control while putting customers […]