The Global Importance of Innovation as an ROI Filter


Late this evening, I made the time to review a presentation by Alessandro Finetto, Director Global Consumer Design, Whirlpool Europe, at DMI’s Realities conference 13 in Europe.

My big takeaway from Mr. Finetto’s presentation is this:

He knows, instinctively as a designer, that 250 new product introductions in one year is, plainly and simply, too much. Why? The costs are high for development, delivery and risk versus reward. Simple.

It is no longer reasonable to throw out every idea under the sun, because one of them will surely succeed. Venture capital firms know this, too, and they are much more particular about how they spread seed money today.

However, new product design and exploration is not less needed in such an economically challenged environment, but more important than ever. It must continue.

Design and innovation is an extremely efficient method. It involves fewer, and more specialized, team members that require relatively small budget percentages. The results, simultaneously, develop innovative opportunities and filter the results to rational, yet intuitive and discrete, resource commitments.

In other words, now is the time to expand innovative and creative explorations, rather than to contract or eliminate them.

Your thoughts, please.

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anon123 said:

I’ve been surrounded by talk about “innovation” and “design,” primarily by “new product developers” and industrial designers. As a graphic designer, I am having trouble defining and understanding what people mean by “innovation.” Is it a specific methodology? business discipline? buzzword (how about “lean innovation sustainability”)? means different things to different people? applies primarily to new product/service development and to design of physical objects?

Thanks for any clarity you can give to the terms and any examples of innovation in graphic design/brand strategy profession.

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