June 17, 2013

Is Your Company Innovative?

innovative small companiesI was asked the other day to name some small companies I felt were cutting-edge innovative.  By innovative, I don’t mean creating new technology products, finding the cure to some disease, or building the lastest-greatest building/space ship/iPod.  No, specifically within the realm of retail and consumer products, who is doing something innovative that makes you stop and take notice?

The sad thing is that this turned out to be a harder question to answer than I originally anticipated.  It’s not that there aren’t a thousand companies out there who are making cool things – many of them food businesses to be sure – but are they being innovative?  Are they breaking new ground?  For the most part we’re all following the formula that was laid down by others and simply tweaking the ingredients/recipes/specifics.  I include myself in here as a guilty party as well.

What are you doing that is truly innovative?  What are you doing that is different and will make people take notice?

2 comments on “Is Your Company Innovative?

  • Luisa Alberto on said:

    this is an interesting question and actually the reason why i decided to start my business. i was working in the coffee industry when third wave coffee first came into vogue. it was my job to get new cafes and restaurants up and running with an exquisite coffee program. after 4 plus years, i was exhausted by endless inquiries with the same business model. funny thing is, they each thought they had an innovative concept.

    fast forward 2 years and i too believe i have an innovative concept. we are a culinary juice bar. being in san francisco, there is a plethora of phenomenal food, coffee and cocktails; enough to make one’s head spin, in fact. we are working to create a space for juice within this world of beautiful food, served in beautiful establishments, with impeccable hospitality.

    we once received a yelp review wherein someone berated us for thinking we were the ‘french laundry of juice’. well, my friend, that’s not too far off. innovative? i’m not sure, but i think we might be onto something…

    • smallfoodbiz on said:

      Getting a reaction, positive or negative, is to me the first sign that you’re doing something differently than anyone else. Granted, we all prefer the positive but even with the negative reaction, at least you’re doing something in a way that made someone stop and take notice!