Starting Point: Innovate and Thrive

Karen Newman, GCI, Editor in Chief
Karen Newman, GCI, Editor in Chief
Economy got you down? Well, set aside the gloomy headlines and do something that might actually improve the situation. Remember that everyone wants exactly the same thing you do—something exciting to keep customers ... and cash—coming in. So, instead of shuttering the office and hanging out the ‘gone fishing’ sign, get your best minds together and be creative. And, lest you think you’re alone out there, check out some of the innovation blogs on the Internet. I’ve been reading and enjoyed recent posts about customer-driven innovation at Starbucks and about GE’s recently launched Caulk Singles for those small jobs that don’t require a standard 10 oz. tube. Creating solutions to your customers’ challenges—big and small—is a good idea in any economy.

Back in January, BusinessWeek’s Bruce Nussbaum posted an entry to his blog, NussbaumOnDesign, titled “10 Worst Innovation Mistakes in a Recession.” No matter the state of the economy in the part of the world where you do business, the bottom line, says Nussbaum, is “Unless you really want to compete on price ... the ability to do sustained innovation is the one competitive edge left. Innovation is the driver of performance, growth and stock market valuation.” These are words to do business by.

We like to practice what we preach, so the GCI magazine team has innovation in mind all the time. Look for Fragrance Business 2008: Architects of Innovation to bring together marketers and manufacturers of fragranced products—including personal care, fine fragrance, candles and home fragrance—to talk about building the industry of the future. Fragrance Business 2008 will be held Sept. 9–11 during HBA. Perhaps your next big innovation will take seed at the event—and just maybe you’ve got the next big thing in fragrance technology on your shelf right now looking for the right project to give it wings. Beyond Fragrance Business, look to GCI magazine to introduce some new features in the coming months, and look no further than this issue to read about some interesting innovations making their way into skin care.

A Decade of Reaction

Steve Herman is celebrating a milestone this month, marking 10 years as a columnist for GCI magazine. Through “Chemical Reaction,” he shares his broad knowledge and curious nature by taking us inside the interactions between molecules, machines and minds, connecting the dots between theory and practice on topics as diverse as quantum behavior and optical effects makeup; thermodynamics and soap suds; hydrogels and humans; and microencapsulation and postal regulation. He has referenced some major innovations in his columns throughout the past decade and, will continue to share his insights with you in the pages of GCI magazine.

Enjoy the issue. And give me a call or send an e-mail to let me know how your company is innovating its way through this challenging global economy. I’ll share your thoughts in a future “Starting Point.”

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