Friday, January 27, 2012

Rethinking Retail: Transforming Bricks and Mortar

Photo by Waldec

The news has had articles about retailers struggling with the concept of “Showrooming”. This occurs when shoppers come to a bricks and mortar store to touch and feel products, and then go to the internet to buy them. Most recently Target has been highlighted for sending a letter to its vendors asking them for help with the issue, but is likely a problem for other retailers with physical locations, such as Best Buy, or even WalMart.

It appears that Target is taking defensive action to protect its turf, but would it be possible to embrace the trend and take advantage of Target’s physical presence? What if Target, literally turned itself into a showroom? Consider how this would work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Apple's Patent Lawsuits Will Fail

Photo by Brett Jordan via Flicker
In the long run, Apple's strategy to sue their IOS competitors may be doomed.

Many (most?) technology patents describe individual features of an entire system, or ecology of innovation. For example, consider a patent to recognize phone numbers in emails and to launch a dialer when the number is selected. This patent by itself is not that interesting. It is only when the invention is embedded in a smartphone or other system that includes email and telephone calling that there is utility to this patent. In contrast, consider a patent for a novel drug. This patent covers the drug in its entirety and no other inventions are required to produce the drug.