INOVATION VS EXPLOITATION
Obtaining resources to invest in research and innovation can be a complex task since there is no guarantee of seeing results within a defined time frame. That being the case, from a company point of view, it may seem easier to opt for “reliable” investments with a sense of risk that makes management more comfortable. Doing what already works over and over again sounds more reasonable than betting on something that may or may not deliver the expected results. However, this is a dangerous mindset because, in the long run, it might be more risky to continue exploiting what already works than to take on the task of looking for new alternatives, even if it means living with some uncertainty. Thomas Edison (with his current direct), Blackberry and Blockbuster are just three examples of what can happen when you stop innovating to focus exclusively on exploiting products and / or services that have already proven to be successful. In fact, such success can put companies in a comfort zone that prevents them from seeing what their competition is doing. Thinking that what made us successful in the present will keep us successful in the future is a fatal mistake if two aspects are considered:
- The market, like a living organism, is constantly changing, evolving and has new demands.
- Technology offers new and better solutions every day.