$10,000 for Innovation

January 13, 2010

Businesses all over the world ask themselves the same questions every day.  Or, if they don’t, they probably should.

“How can we make our company better? Run smoother? More efficient? Make more money?”

Often times we look outside the company for help or advice.  Sometimes we think that we know all the answers and we don’t need help from anyone.  And much of the time I am sure that we just expect things to get better without trying at all.

But take this new idea from the struggling publisher, Conde Nast.  They are offering their employees a $10,000 prize for whoever comes up with the best idea to improve the company.

Sure this is probably a sign of desperation more than anything else, but it still makes sense.  The reason companies hire people is to move forward.  In essence, you want every employee to not only do the job that they were hired for, but to bring new ideas forward and shake things up.  Every entrepreneur from an early point in their lives learns that you are suppose to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you to help you succeed.

Why don’t more companies look internally for help when looking to create a change?  And why don’t more companies have rewards in place (maybe not $10k) for employees that take on that challenge?

I am a strong believer that innovation most often comes from within.

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France Hates Innovation

January 8, 2010

This piece from Wired.com is yet another describing the futile attempts by people who are uneasy about the changes brought about by digital content.

In this latest one, it appears that the French Government has decided that it might be a good idea to tax successful online companies in order to help unsuccessful companies.  They think that taxing a company like Google, who has figured out what people want to do, and need to do online, is the way to help other companies who have failed to see the wave of the future and continue to lose money because of free content.

Let’s face it people, there will always be some who do not like change.  But this is the way the world is moving.  I have written about it on this blog.  Many others have written about it on their blogs.

If a company exists that used to make money because they produced highly sought content, and is now losing money because of competition, why does the government or anybody else have any right to just give them money.  Either figure out how to compete in this new market, or fail.  Those are your options.

Besides the fact that what the French government is trying to do might be illegal, its just plain stupid.  Competition moves us forward.  Free content is working.  Don’t punish the people that have seen the future and moved us there for the sake of saving the near-sighted companies that thought the world would never change.