2008 Innovation in Review

December 29, 2008

2008 was a strange year.  It was a year that saw a rough economic downturn, a struggle by our government to save some big companies, and an effort by banks across the globe to stabilize themselves.  The term recession was thrown around plenty, and a lot of well established corporations underperformed because of it.

But even so, there were people and companies that were moving in the right direction.  To finish off the year here on Be Innovation, I wanted to touch on some of the most innovative people and creations of the year.

David Plouffe and the rest of Obama’s campaign management team should be recognized for their innovative use of viral marketing in the 2008 presidential campaign.  For the first time, a presidential candidate got in touch with the younger, internet generation.  This not only drove more young people to vote, it increased his “brand awareness”, and made him seem more “available” then most politicians.

Kevin Rose, as Inc Magazine puts it, is the first media maverick of the social web.  In 2008, he saw his company, Digg, gain popularity and value.  It spawned off an internet TV show “Diggnation” and the Kevin Rose web-celeb status.  He owns or operates several other internet ventures and is surely planning more for the future.

Apple, Google, and Research in Motion deserve credit for bringing the mobile web into the hands of consumers.  New 3G phones with one-touch applications and easy web use has made living life on the go easier than ever.  Advancements in touch screen technology, internet availability, and mobile technology have made these phones popular and practical.
There are many, many more people, companies and inventions to mention.  But there is only so much room here.  Take a look at some of these other lists that round out the top innovators/innovations of 2008.

The Economist discusses this year’s winners of the annual innovation awards.  B to B Media Business showcases their top innovators in five different categories.  The Scientist lists their top 10 innovations of the year.  Check out Time Magazine’s top inventions of 2008.  And finally, MediaWeek discusses the most impressive innovations of the year in media and marketing.

And we can all look forward to 2009, which at this moment in time, holds a limitless amount of possible innovations.  2009 will be the year of an “Innovate or Die” mindset for corporate America.  The times are changing (have changed) and it will put a lot of pressure on big companies to adapt and grow in a new direction.

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