By Vasundhara Jain
If we were to consider the legacy of the Silicon Valley, we would realize the importance of the networking environment in fostering an innovation. The very important ideas for Apple, especially the contribution for the first PC by Steve Wozniak who worked at HP but developed it for Apple, and also the ideas of mouse stolen from Xerox, were made possible only due to the best talent and technology of the world being situated in the Silicon Valley. Firms learn from each other and this develops an environment that brings to life many innovations. It is increasingly being argued that it is the ‘knowledge-resource-pool’ of a company that determines whether or not it can retain its customers by delighting them.
If innovation is, and it can be, the core competency of an organization, the organization would engage consistently with its networks in order to look for new knowledge, to give itself an edge in the market place. However, it is important for a firm to develop its own capacity to innovate, and not rely excessively on outside networks. It is for this reason that organizations try to set in a culture to foster and support innovation by making its own organizational structure suitable for innovation. They do so by integrating workplace design to convey the intent for innovation. Google, for example, is known for its playful and creative work spaces, including rest and leisure areas. Google has also white boards installed at random places throughout their workplace as its management believes that an idea can strike any time and an organization member should be equipped to start working on it anywhere. The message conveyed by such physical embodiments is of a company that embraces creativity, thus bringing in a culture of innovation.
Googleplex: The Google office (Source: http://abduzeedo.com/mountain-view-googleplex )
With increasing IT tools, video conferencing, increasing international collaborations and ventures, it becomes more probable that a firm could engage in utilizing the benefits of its networks. Innovations and products can now reach a vast market. Tools such as social networking are of increasing use. Social websites have a vast data pool of consumer preferences, can be used to undertake market testing, or even pick up ideas for consumer trends!
The fact that if Facebook were a country it would be the third most populated in the world, is of much interest. As a global economy, although the Schumpeterian long wave for the telecommunication along with digitization of information is said to be over, social networking could be expected to bring in the new creative destruction. It has immense power in terms of providing information on global trends, where increasingly international trends are merging – the iPad in India is almost as famous as iPad in UK or USA, thus making information management easier and applicable globally, with anomalies reducing. The economic transformations due to the introduction of Internet led to a paradigm shift and increasing demand for information by customers. This led to companies turning towards adopting new business models globally. Now, it is the advent of social networking that is forcing companies to adopt, in order to survive.
Vasundhara Jain is currently pursuing Masters in Economics at the University of Warwick, UK. She has interned at the State Planning Commission MP, where she specifically studied how the banking system met the growth needs of the state. She has volunteered in different capacities at several NGO’s, including ones for development of underprivileged children, and for HIV+ and rehab-seeking residents. . Her further interests including traveling, writing and playing squash. She blogs at www.vasujain.com, and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius