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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

Mobile technology and targeted marketing barge in on holidays

People use their cell phones in Mexico City, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/Files
Thumbing through guide books for restaurant and shopping tips while on holiday could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to mobile travel technology that knows where you are and what you like and can ping you personalised recommendations.
People are increasingly turning to their mobile phones to book flights, hotels and make other travel-related purchases, with $96 billion, or 12.5 percent of global online travel sales, made via the devices in 2014, according to a report by Euromonitor International.
Using data from those purchases, travel providers will soon be pushing personalised options for hotels and restaurants via mobile devices, Euromonitor's WTM Global Trends Report 2015 forecast.
"The opportunities that smart technology offers travel companies are endless and we have only scratched the surface," said World Travel Market (WTM) senior director Simon Press.
"It won't be long before personalised suggestions – created from cross-checking consumers' preferences and current location with online inventories of local travel services and activities – will become the norm."
The trend among travel firms such as Booking.com and Expedia, as well as airline Ryanair, mimics what has happened in retail, where companies such as Amazon.com harvest detailed customer data to push targeted offers in real time.
Over the period 2014-2019, mobile travel sales are forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent, said the report, adding "beacon technology" would help to enable the more tailored marketing.
In certain locations, mobile devices react to beacons, allowing companies to see where a customer is at any time.
That is particularly helpful for companies at a time when tourist tastes are diversifying into new locations, another shift identified by the same report which found that visitors to European cities are increasingly seeking out trendy "hipster" neighbourhoods rather than traditional tourist areas.
Booking accommodation via website Airbnb has opened up areas such as Kreuzberg in Berlin, District VII in Budapest and Dalston in London, where there are fewer hotels, the report said.

Travellers keen to explore hipster districts, or indeed elsewhere, without notifications or recommendations, can always turn off their mobile device.

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