Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Innovation in cars

I met my friend Mr. Martin Ertl, currently CIO of Bombardier Transportation in 2006 when he was the Head of Innovation Impulses at BMW. He stated to me in one of our conversations that the innovation in cars will now come from the outside. A quote from Martin in "Sectoral Innovation Leaders Showcasing" here is apropos:

"To set itself apart from its competitors, BMW created a decidedly dynamic and sportive image for its products, claiming to build the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. “A promise that has to be kept”, says Martin Ertl, Head of Innovation Impulses at the BMW Group Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ): “Without any doubt BMW sells lifestyle. But that’s only part of the story. Selling lifestyle doesn’t work without a product endowed with the appropriate technological substance.”"

Today, Martin's preemption at BMW helping it become the world's no. 1 luxury car brand, is going mainstream. RIM's PlayBook is getting integrated into cars. Cars are becoming an experience where there will be no discontinuity in comfort from home to car to office to car to dinning to car to home ...

See Wall Street Journal's article "RIM hopes cars drive PlayBook sales" here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

India: Brand overload

Quote from WSJ article:

"India's store shelves groan under the weight of consumer brands. About 900 new food and beverage brands alone have been launched there in the past two years. Yet while shoppers enjoy ever more choice, it is getting harder for companies such as Procter & Gamble and Hindustan Unilever to preserve profit margins."

Consumer Products Goods sector is going to be a very competitive market in this decade to create large values for investors. The winners will be ones who are Unique versus Distinctive. See my previous blog on the subject here, or win on price points.

Natural gas as automotive fuel

This is fascinating! From the WSJ, details here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

B2B vs. B2C Innovation Growth

More funding is going to consumer (soft) applications versus (hard) technology products. Who is making the product technologies today? Multi-Nationals like GE are taking the lead, see "GE Makes India a Lab for Global Markets" here from Wharton.

Are the breakthroughs like the printer and the personal computer no longer the domain of Silicon Valley?

From the Wall Street Journal "For Silicon Valley Start-Ups, Funding Boom Is Lopsided" here.