Digital music — the kind you pay for — doesn’t qualify as a true luxury item, but it has tended to work best for customers armed with middle-class accoutrements such as credit cards and computers.
That’s why Muve, the successful music service run by Cricket Wireless, earns accolades for innovation. By reaching out to a broad base of mobile users and focusing on a payment system that works for them, Muve has added some 600,000 subscribers since launching early last year.
Founder and SVP Jeff Toig
about this avid audience: “Two-thirds are African American or Hispanic, and the majority of customers make less than $30,000 a year. They pay for their phone service with prepaid cards, and have been all but ignored by the Spotifys and Rhapsodys of this world.”
Now look around the world, where mobile phones often leap-frog more traditional computers as economies modernize and digitize. If you’re designing for the old paradigm, you could be old news.
from Dave Winer about designers understanding products as users themselves seems relevant to the discussion.
: Innovation and the democratization.
It’s not exactly news that Amazon’s cloud services are a big deal, but
in the New York Times gives some good examples of the ways those services help drive innovation.
Our survey results speak to this trend. Nearly 83% of respondents say cloud computing will speed the cycle of innovation, while 84% say greater use of the cloud improves collaboration across companies and outside the firewall.
The cloud also rated highly among technologies that factor into the culture of innovation at respondent companies, with 83% saying it plays a role and 50% giving it the highest rating — more than any other technology.
Innovation often means finding a better way of doing something familiar — doing it faster, or cheaper, or just making it easier for customers or partners.
There’s not much about business more basic than paying for goods and services.But as the interest in Starbucks’
deal with mobile payments company
Square shows, that core transaction is the kind of thing around which innovation still happens.
Another takeaway from the announcement: Innovative ideas, and even realizations of those ideas, may not be enough to change markets.
Often, the innovator needs help getting the word out and gaining market share. In this case, reports NPR, “The app’s been a hit with reviewers but Square has struggled to gain consumers’ attention.”
Starbucks has the power to wake people up, and we’re not just talking about caffeine.