Whenever people introduce a new innovation merely for sake of appearance of capacity for creation of something different, the outcome is a self aggrandizing innovation — an oxymoron. Self aggrandizing ‘oxymoron’ innovations never really solve any problems. Rather, the true reason they exist is facilitation of boasts by creators of the oxymoron that they only are capable of producing bells and whistles that are of no practical or pragmatic use to anyone whatsoever.
A self aggrandizing ‘oxymoron’ innovation exists merely so a supposed innovator can claim he or she ever has created something ‘different’.
Self aggrandizing innovations tend to be outcome of rivalries between people, or groups of people. While these oxymoron innovations typically arise out of rivalries, the group not responsible for the oxymoron can be totally unaware of existence of a rivalry. So then, all of the while the genuinely innovative group blissfully busies itself with it’s business of ‘meaningful innovation’, the self aggrandizing group busies itself with pulling of it’s hair out by the roots until it arrives at a comparable oxymoron innovation.
A self aggrandizing innovation — an oxymoron — is outcome of ‘one uppism’ mentality.
The firing of Steve Jobs probably saved him from transforming of himself into a creator of oxymoron innovations. Whenever delays of product releases on Apple’s part resulted to Microsoft achieving release of the latest version of it’s computer earlier, the story goes Jobs would delay release of the latest version of Apple’s McIntosh computer, this with a view to ensuring the Mac’s operating system clearly one upped Microsoft’s Windows program.
In the realization that the average consumer was not looking for bells and whistles, meaning one upping of Microsoft was not likely to be commercially successful, on his return to Apple, Jobs turned his attention to development of new innovations.
In the decision to desist from rivalry with Microsoft and focus on the consumer, the world got the iPod, ditched the Walkman like it was devil’s spawn, and never since has looked back.
In wake of the decision to cede the desktop and laptop operating system market to Microsoft Windows, Jobs and Apple created a new innovation behemoth.
Why was the iPod an instant hit?
Jobs and Apple hit on a problem consumers knew they had, but of which they did not think there was a solution. The moment the iPod was released, consumers immediately recognized the solution they now realized could exist, ditched their Walkman players, stopped carrying 20 CDs around while jogging or traveling, burned their CDs onto their computers, switched to the iPod. In the decision to desist from rivalry with Microsoft and focus on solving consumers’ practical problems pragmatically, Jobs turned both himself and Apple into beacons of meaningful innovation.
Now, Apple’s iTunes software? Runs on Windows platforms.
The best innovators focus on crafting solutions to consumers’ problems, not one upping of some other innovator.
If you are tempted to engage in one uppism competition, know it only can keep you back from creation of the next innovation behemoth. One uppism competition keeps you focused on the competition, not on problems you have inherent capacity for solving. In the focus on your competition, you are blinded to opportunities that stare you in the face, opportunities clamoring for your attention, opportunities that have potential for making you bigger than your competition.
So, do yourself a favor. Rid yourself of focus on oxymoron innovations, focus on solving consumers’ practical problems pragmatically.
But suppose you choose to remain in the same segment as your nearest competition? Well then, know this and know it well. Pepsi Co did not begin to rival Coca Cola because it spent as much on advertisement. Pepsi Co became a real competitor to Coca Cola because it created a different Cola taste with which some segment of consumers fell in love. Even when you remain in the same product segment, innovation that works does not revolve around one uppism mentality. Innovation that works revolves around creation of a product that presents some unique appeal to sensibilities of existing or potential customers.
So then, you can spend your innovation time attempting to create as many new combinations of Control-Alt sequences as possible, or yet again you could spend your time innovating the next iPod. The choice my friend is yours in entirety.