Technology is transforming innovation at its core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds -- and prices -- that were unimaginable even a decade ago. They can stick features on Web sites and tell within hours how customers respond. They can see results from in-store promotions, or efforts to boost process productivity, almost as quickly.The article goes on to discuss Google, Wal-mart, and Amazon as examples and talk about the cultural changes necessary (such as switching to a bottom-up, data-driven organization and reducing management control) for rapid experimentation and innovation.
The result? Innovation initiatives that used to take months and megabucks to coordinate and launch can often be started in seconds for cents.
That makes innovation, the lifeblood of growth, more efficient and cheaper. Companies are able to get a much better idea of how their customers behave and what they want ... Companies will also be willing to try new things, because the price of failure is so much lower.
I am briefly quoted in the article, making the point that even failed experiments have value because failures teach us about what paths might lead to success.