Three Innovations and a Challenge

As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, bold new creations will pave the way for breakthrough success while disrupting the laggards who cling to the past. We all see the obvious examples of innovators such as Apple, Netflix, and Uber. But I love finding and learning from those lesser-known stories of business artists who deploy their imagination to fuel progress. Here are a few recent finds:

A shower becomes a digital notepad. Marriott Hotels is helping guests capture those creative ideas in the shower by offering a touchscreen shower door. As the steam of the shower inspires you and fogs the glass, it becomes your own personal idea canvas. When the shower ends, your doodles are captured and sent to your email on file to ensure your “brilliance doesn’t wash away.” In addition to the function itself, think about the brand message Marriott is sending to guests about their role as an innovative company that pushes the creative boundaries.

Facial recognition at the candy shop. As you walk into one of the colorful candy stores of Lolli & Pops, you’re instantly recognized. Facial recognition technology pulls your profile and allows sales associates to offer a personalized, VIP experience. If they know you hate licorice but love dark chocolate, they’ll simultaneously delight you and sell more. Sweet!

Your sneaker is your subway pass. In Berlin, shoemaker Adidas partnered with the local public transit system to digitally embed an annual subway pass in their new, limited-edition kicks. The shoes sold out in record time, and created a ton of buzz around the innovative partnership.

In each example, innovative companies are embracing new technologies and deploying them in unexpected ways to better serve customers. With limitless options at our disposal, we must forge bold new paths to creating value. The ingredients are out there, and now it is our job to craft a better recipe.

How will you embrace new tech and trends to do the never-been-done-before? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.