More and more retailers are turning to private labeling and exclusive products to drive revenue. With this move comes an investment in building internal product development functions. It is estimated that by 2013, 40% of retailers will generate half of their revenue from private labeling and exclusive products. At FEI11, Michael Kitz, of OfficeMax, talked about this model in his presentation, Retailer Driven Innovation – A Powerful New Business Model.
I was fortunate to attend a presentation by Zappo’s CEO, Tony Hsieh (pronounced SHAY) while he was in Boson on the Delivering Happiness Tour (@DHMovement) and was struck by Hsieh’s creativity and ingenuity in building the Zappos business.
After selling his first company LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million and Zappos to Amazon for $1.2 billion, Hsieh wrote a book titled, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.” In the presentation, Hsieh talked, among other topics, about the importance of an organization’s purpose and how it contributed to helping Zappos become the company it is today.
The early stage of creativity requires care and feeding. With the early stage comes ambiguity, uncertainty and lots of questions – are we moving in the right direction? what do we make of the situation? what are we going to do? why?
It’s no wonder new product developers refer to the early stage as the fuzzy front end. Similarly, with creative problem solving, the early stage is referred to as “mess finding.” Whether you call it the fuzzy front end or mess finding, during the early stage of creativity you must orient yourself to the situation, or “sensitize” yourself to the issue that you are tackling. This requires both rational (logical) and affective (emotional) thinking. Here are some tips to help smooth out the fuzzy front end and assist with mess finding: