There is such a thing as a new idea

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the kind of management-speak typically used to praise innovation. Hyperbolic clichés appear with such alarming regularity in the business world that, to my regret, I’m often guilty of using them myself.

There’s so much ‘game changing’ that I’m surprised anyone can keep up with the rules. Paradigms are constantly being shifted, but I’m not always sure from where, or to where. So many companies are ‘thinking out of the box’ that I wonder if there is anything left in it. The idea that every single product is ‘best of breed’ seems highly improbable. Call me uneducated, but I get confused whether it is better to be on the leading edge or the bleeding edge.

Is there really that much innovation? Or do you agree with the old saying that there are no new ideas?

There are some incredibly creative thinkers in print: people finding new and different ways to do business. But this isn’t necessarily innovation. It is – to quote another classic management cliché – evolution not revolution.

But every so often, something comes along that seems more than just the garden-variety new take on an old idea. That’s how I felt researching this month’s feature on mobile-to-print. It’s a brave new frontier. The opportunities for business-to-consumer work are clear, if B2B less obvious.

M2P is not new: some have been playing in this space since 2008. But commerce is now going mobile more rapidly than ever. ProPrint is doing our best to keep up and hope to have a mobile site for soon.

Some might say even mobile-to-print is not true innovation. After all, it’s just another way to sell print. Maybe so. But few can argue M2P does represent a potentially untapped market where some opportunistic companies will find success, of that I have no doubt.

That’s not the only piece of radical thinking in this month’s issue. You’ll find another article on p28 looking at printers that don’t actually print. The idea that the identity of a print shop is not locked up in its production specs but in its sales and marketing capabilities might seem far-out thinking but it could be the right model for some readers.

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