Reverse innovation stories in emerging markets highlight the untapped potential of innovating operating and business practices in developed markets.

The more I read about “reverse innovation” and the opportunity this creative method of rethinking products and services has opened up for the developed world, the more I see how important operating and business processes are. What’s interesting is that in the telecom industry the best examples (and the most successful ones) are coming out of emerging economies. This shouldn’t be a surprise as innovation in the emerging world has been an outcome of the prevailing business pressures that left little option but to change conventional thinking.

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The shockwaves of the recent announcement that Google is buying Motorola Mobility, the handset and device division that spun off from the Motorola mother ship not long ago, will continue to ripple far and wide. There are several reasons why this could be a great boost for Android, but also some major concerns about getting the two companies and their product lines to blend well.

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The NY Times' Thomas Friedman's August 14 column looks at the parallel upheavals of the London riots, Arab spring, tea party anger, and young people mobilizing around the world against government austerity measures. He asks:

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I’m usually skeptical when local habits become emerging trends and are subsequently declared a new global management paradigm, but in the case of the much buzzed-about Jugaad I am inclined to follow the gurus.The trend began with Reena Jana’s seminal article in BusinessWeek in December 2009 (full disclosure: Reena is a consulting editor at frog, a company of he Aricent Group), in which she critically investigated the value of Jugaad and anticipated its entering the lexicon of management consultants. The term Jugaad (pronounced “joo-gaardh”) is a colloquial Hindi word that describes a creative ad hoc solution to a vexing issue, making existing things work and/or creating new things with scarce resources. Although sometimes used pejoratively (in the sense of a makeshift cheap fix), it is now widely accepted as a noun to describe Indian-style innovation (some also call it “indovation”) – describing the inventiveness of Indian grassroots engineers and scientists that have led to the pedal-powered washing machine, inspired the extra-low-cost Tata Nano car, or the success of India’s space program. It is, in short, the art of holistic (and therefore lateral) thinking, of unbound, resilient creativity, and of improvisation and rapid prototyping under severe constraints.

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When Google announced Friday that it was pulling the plug on Google Health, we received dozens of calls asking, "If Google can't make it in health, who can?" But we actually think we should be looking at Google's failure as a strong sign of where the electronic medical record (EMR) and personal health record (PHR) space is headed. To use the Gartner Hype Cycle reference we are in the "Trough of Disillusionment," where technology fails to meet expectations and is abandoned. But, some businesses will persist and continue through the "Slope of Enlightenment" and experiment to understand the true benefits and practical application of the technology for the consumer. We also think Google's failure is a confirmation that consumers are finally expecting healthcare products and services to rise to the same level as other industries. frog finds this in our healthcare research all the time; patients and physicians now expect their PHR/EMR to provide all the intuitive functionality and connectivity as their smart phones and tablets. If they don't, they won't adopt these technologies. Google Health failed on two primary dimensions: failure to create a connected and meaningful solution.

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Last week we conducted a webinar for mobile service providers on Customer Experience – "In-Service Customer Experience Management – Include the Customer for a Holistic Solution" – which generated many interesting insightful questions on Customer Experience implementation challenges and solutions for wireless, fixed, online, and cloud services.  We received more questions than we were able to answer in the time, so I wanted to make sure and take the time to answer all of the questions. The responses for these questions are detailed below.

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