Success as a Hindrance to Innovation

Given the benefits of innovating and the costs of failing to do so, why is it that some companies don’t innovate? One major reason is success. Success breeds inertia and a sense that innovation isn’t necessary. As discussed above, it’s a mistake that Kodak made – but Blockbuster, Yahoo!, Wang, Motorola’s cell phone division, Smith Corona, and many others fell into the same trap. For a company that is successful, it is easy to believe that the mere fact that you are successful means that you’re doing everything right and, well, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” That adage doesn’t really apply in today’s business world, though. This is a world where if you do not continue to improve and innovate, you will become obsolete. So don’t let the fact that your company is doing well lead you to believe that you don’t need to dedicate time and resources to innovation – that couldn’t be further from the truth.