Content Strategy

Innovation Through Iteration – With a Side of Bacon


Innovation often requires iteration.
Innovation often requires iteration.

Innovate. Move quickly. Take risks. Don’t be afraid of failure – but learn from it.

These messages resonated loud and clear and last week’s IBM Impact conference in Las Vegas. I attended as a beat reporter for the Application Infrastructure track, attending sessions on developers, customer experience, and building a Composable Business. You can read my dispatches (and plenty of others) on the Impact blog:

Smarter TV Shows, Farms, and Ties: Customer Innovation at Impact – Kevin Spacey’s dynamite keynote focused on listening to customers and innovating accordingly. Spacey recounted his experience with House of Cards and Netflix as an example of a new business model built on customer needs.

Fail Fast & Fall Forward: dev@Impact  – IBM’s Angel Diaz, VP of Open Technologies and Cloud Performance, offered three memorable mantras that apply to developing, and also to life. 

Composing a Better Customer Experience – Whether they’re transporting passengers, lending money, or processing mobile payments, assembling several ready-built applications have freed IBM customers to focus on improving the customer experience, rather than building applications from scratch.

Overall, the messages echoed the Association of National Advertiser’s Chicago Innovation Day in March. There, food and beverage companies ranging from MillerCoors and Pop Secret to Hillshire Farms and Oscar Mayer shared stories of how they responded to customer and market demands. Whether the goal was to sell more microwave popcorn or make people request a specific brand of something often thought of as a commodity (bacon), the process was the same: listen to customers, assess the market, and move ahead to try different tactics in different places. Some tactics might flop, but others may succeed beyond your wildest imagination – like Oscar Mayer’s Say it With Bacon campaign.


Do you have any stories of innovation wins – or flops?


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