Here I am the first day in our new office - the building is officially named Idea Couture Place and I took the opporunity to talk about who we are and what are really good at to our people. There are still a lot of people that don't quite understand what a strategic innovation firm does and why it is not just another industrial design, strategy firm or creative house.
Now the move is over but it will take abother 2 months before we are really settled as many furnitures and equipment are still shipping from Italty, Belgium and China. I can't wait to see the fully finished office. For now, everyone is really happy. The roof top patio will look like a boutique hotel.
What exactly does Apple’s victory means for many other companies? The overwhelming patent infringement victory over Samsung is shaping the strategies of many and everyone is getting a wake-up call and now they need to revisit how they approach strategic innovation.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook told his employees about how Apple values originality and innovation and pour their lives into making the best products on earth. They do this to delight their customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.
The result of this court case actually shapes the playing field of competition and the very nature of competitive strategy. Samsung, Motorola (Google), HTC, RIM, HP, Nokia, RIM, Microsoft, Xerox, Sony, Amazon and IBM . All have quivers full of patents and armies of retained patent lawyers ready to go to court to protect their interests and raise the barriers of entry for new players.
If you look at any new or old product categories, product and user experiences will become more andmore similar over time. Look around you and you realize a lot of cars looks the same and drive the same way. And over time, most phones, laptops or tablets will have similar designs and behaviors, just like TVs, cameras and typewriters. Switches and buttons whether they have rounded or rectangular corners or whatever shaped icons and the overall look and feel aren't likely the key points of differentiation. It has always been part of the commoditization process and companies will continue try to innovate with new ideas.
Every great innovation attracts copycats and it is hard to say whether we are promoting innovation by offering protection or deterring innovation by raising the barriers. There is no easy answer to this one. What’s next? If you’re a small start-up you will have a hard time to make it big as once you gain some attention and market success, you will then discover that you may be infringing on patents even though you think you’re not.
Can anyone realistically come up with an idea that can past the patent test of Apple/Google(Motorola)/Cisco/Xeorx/RIM/Sony/Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures (the world's biggest patent troll) when everone is waiting to collect royalties for what you were pretty sure was an original idea or invention.
I can’t wait for a day when Apple is suing Google and Google is suing Nokia and HP is suing Apple and Samsung is suing HP and everyone is suing everyone – one hell of a party. In the end, it's more likely that these crazy entanglements will result in more cross-licensing agreements than to massive payouts – one big happy family and everyone is getting a check.
As for now, my phone hasn’t stop ringing as every company needs to “out-innovate” and wants Idea Couture to bring Design Thinking to them. Now no one is safe. Welcome to the crazy world.