Take a look around the Web. In almost any field you will find companies calling themselves innovative, and the data analytics and machine learning sectors are no different!
Surely they can't all be innovative?
The good old Oxford English Dictionary defines innovation as follows.
1 (of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original. ‘innovative designs, ‘innovative ways to help unemployed people’
1.1(of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking. ‘writers who are now viewed as innovative’
Look more closely, and you will find three kinds of companies, two more common than the other. The first sell an innovative product or service, as in definition 1. No disrespect, innovative ideas are not ten a penny, they had one, they developed it, and brought it to market, and this is seriously hard work, for which they deserve more kudos than the second kind of company, the sharks waiting around to copycat someone else's innovative idea, tinker with it a bit, and market it as their own.
Sadly, these companies are ten a penny, and it can be hard to tell them from the genuine innovators, because, you guessed it, they loudly proclaim their innovation. But they still sell an off the shelf product or service and market it as new and innovative, often more successfully than the original inventer, because they haven't had to bother with all that tedious original thought, and can just get straight on with the selling part.
Confused yet? About to give up on innovation because it seems there really is nothing new under the sun, and what there is doesn't solve your problem? What do you do if you have scoured the web, and still can't find an innovative solution for your unique business problem?
Well, that is when you need the third kind of company! The company that employs innovative people! This company may not be slick at marketing, like those selling one or two products or services over and over again. It can sometimes be a little bit hard to pin down exactly what they do do, because they are moving on to the next thing, the last one either already forgotten, or veiled in complex Non-Disclosure Agreements. But these are the companies where innovation happens as a regular occurrence, because it is, quite simply, what they have to sell!
A genuinely creative and innovative team takes a particular kind of mindset. Passionate, curious, focused, a little geeky. These teams thrive on the bespoke, the creative, the custom. They may not thrive in suits and ties, or swanky premises, or with formal bidding and project management systems.
They prefer to be agile, responsive, and to work in collaboration with their customer, developing new innovative ideas. They believe that necessity is the mother of invention, and invention is their reason for being.
These teams do need lesser mortals to bring them down to earth. (Ask me how I know!) But when they have them, they can be the source of the genuinely innovative edge your customers are really looking for.
If like us, you have a genuine passion for innovation, your challenge is to find the development company that meets your needs. And you might just be looking in the right place!
Alternatively, you could join the queue of people buying yet another copy of an innovative product.