Innovation: Where Can I Find It?

March 15th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Business Model Trianglephoto © 2006 Alexander Osterwalder | more info (via: Wylio)

Innovation needs to be part of a company’s culture or DNA.  Some industries seem to have more innovation than others whether it is a process or other reasons.  To learn more about industry variations I spoke with Jatin DeSai.  He is the CEO of The DeSai Group.

1. What are the most innovative industries?

High-Technology, Biomedical, Energy, Software and Consumer Products.  A student going to college today should study science and engineering or engineering and business to take advantage of the convergences in the next 20 years.

As an example, the raw science and engineering know how will help to eliminate infectious diseases in the future.  What is missing are the systems and processes.  India and China add tremendous uncertainty and large scale new business models in every industry. They have their own problems, but both are trying to cash in on this unprecedented opportunity to dominate the West. Youth and young adults should capture this opportunity before they get left behind.

2. What industries are ripe for innovations?

The least innovative are the most  ripe.  They will be hurting so badly that they will need to get out of the chaos.  Some industries such as Healthcare, Financial Services (insurance and banking), Pharma, Oil/Coal/mining, Aerospace (especially defense contractors) and alcohol & beverages are where we are focusing.

We predict, that water will the next oil by 2040.  There are serious water shortages.  More desalination plants are coming on line.  Think about the heavy cost of distribution in beverages.  Companies are taking gray water and turning it into clean water at their own plants. Due to climate changes to our planet, water will become a very precious commodity. The lower on the pyramid will suffer greatly. Humans cannot survive without water for more than 48 hours. There is a huge opportunity for innovation here.

3. The media often portrays Silicon Valley as the center of innovation in the US.  Is that true?  If not, where are the centers of innovation?

The largest three centers of innovation it the US: Silicon Valley, Boston/Route 128 Corridor and Research Triangle. Overseas, India has centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai, with upcoming places like Noida near New Delhi.  China has Shanghai, Beijing, and Xi’an for the aerospace industry.

4. What is the next big thing in innovation?

Innovating is bigger than a program.  The sexiness will die in 3-5 years because markets will get back into the growth mode and create real jobs.

The next big thing is in the Social Business Model. Our recent article about 20 big insights about the future called “What will Happen in 2011?”  details some ideas.  Cloud Computing is accelerating trends.  We will see much deeper relationship driven models instead of just running on numbers.

Generation Y is very smart and connected, but have not found a way to have personal relationships since many of their interactions are online, not in person. The connectedness will allow companies to have more contractors or free agents versus employees on the payroll.

The Takeaway:

Industries can be more or less innovative depending upon their mindset, geography , technology and culture.

That is where to find innovation.  Where do you find it?  Please comment below.

1.      Do you agree or disagree with the list of the most innovative industries?

2.      Do you think Silicon Valley is the center of innovation in the US?

3.      What other industries would you add to the “ripe for innovation” or “most innovative” lists?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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  1. Dear Rob

    It would be interesting to see your thoughts on innovation and the ability of a location to monetize it. Perhaps Silicon Valley and Route 128 and the Research Triangle are not just centers of innovation but are also very good at commercializing that innovation.



    • Rob Berman says:


      Excellent point about commercializing the innovation. Nothing like success to breed success. Seems like an idea to explore about monetizing the location. I believe that is happening in India and China.


  2. Jill Tooley says:

    Fascinating, Rob! Your list is logical to me and I’ll make a point to keep an eye out for the next center(s) of innovation. I immediately gravitated toward your comment about Generation Y – these online-heavy interactions may actually come in handy as technology and social media progresses. I can’t imagine a world in which texting or tweeting overpowers traditional conversation, but that seems to be the route we’re going nowadays! Do you think that the advancement of social media and online PR will play a major role in future innovations? I hate to say it, but it seems like companies/industries without a strong online presence are being overshadowed by the ones that do…

    • Rob Berman says:


      I think that we must balance on line and off line communications. We need both to meet our audience where they want to engage. I see a lot of innovation coming to help us make sense of all the new Social Media options.


  3. The next center of innovation will be New York City. Mayor Bloomberg has called for proposals from major universities to establish technology centers in NY. Stanford, University of Chicago, local universities and schools from around the world are clamoring to be chosen (the city will donate land and other resources). Stanford has already submitted its proposal for a graduate center that will eventually have 2,000 plus students. Very exciting development.

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