A breakaway innovation

Time magazine has an interesting article called, A Game For All Ages (by Lev Grossman), which provides a hands-on preview of the new Nintendo Wii video game system. The control system used for this game platform would qualify as revolutionary (see an earlier post Types of innovation) as it incorporates motion sensing technologies into a controller that resembles a remote control (something a lot of us are too familiar with.) It has potential to change the way people play games since a different level of interaction can be used (see the article for details.) Of course, it remains to be seen how well this translates into profit.

In the article, there were two very interesting comments that stuck out to me:

If you are simply listening to requests from the customer, you can satisfy their needs, but you can never surprise them.
It is definitely more difficult to come up with revolutionary ideas. When listening to your customers, you'll hear more along the lines of the tried-and-true with some new bells and whistles. On the otherhand, you can't ignore your customers either.
Cutting-edge design has become more important than cutting-edge technology.
The overall experience of using a product or service is the new paradigm. Simplicity of design and usability are key factors for success and product adoption. Think of why the Apple Ipod has been so much more successful than any of its competitors.

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