Have you seen The Artist? It won the best film award at the 2012 Oscars. It is a charming tale about the transition from silent movies to talkies. It is remarkable for a number of reasons – not least because it is a silent movie in black and white with unknowns as stars.
It seems to me that we can learn some innovation lessons from this film and its appeal to audiences. First, the story relates how success is transitory and those who cling to what worked before are rendered obsolete when the market moves onto to new products, services, methods or technologies. If your success is based on what happened in the past rather than what clients will demand in the future then you are at risk of the same fate as the stars of the silent movies who could not adapt to talkies.
Secondly the film deliberately discards current fashion and heads in a completely new direction. Many modern films rely on big stars, fast action, computer graphics or 3D. The Artist has none of these. It tells a simple but powerful story about human emotions and it does it without spoken dialogue or even colour. It purposefully avoids current paradigms in order to make itself unusual and distinctive. If your competitors are adding new features and technologies then perhaps you should innovate by moving in the opposite direction by making your product or service simpler and easier. Can you appeal to basic human emotions in a more direct way? Can you plunder the past to find something which is different and distinctive in the present?
Please see the movie and then ask yourself how you can apply its lessons to your business.
This post was previously published on Destination-Innovation and is republished here with permission from the author.
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Photo credit: youtube