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I was talking with Rhea Wallace of Impact Washington and he told me about a study they have regarding the timeline from a new company or product being innovative (a monopoly) to becoming a commodity. I picked up the Wall Street Journal today, September 15, 2011, and saw a review of the new Sony tablet, the latest challenger to the iPad (and a challenger that got a favorable review in the WSJ).

It struck me that the cycle is pretty short in technology but that everybody seems to have a hard time being anywhere close to Apple when it comes to innovation. And I don’t mean just tech companies, I mean all of us.

Apple has put out leading edge, industry and segment changing products, for a long time and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. They have changed how we listen to music, use our phones, take and store pictures and took the tablet device (from other companies) out of the failure bin to taking the market by storm.

We all won’t be and don’t have to be as innovative as Apple. We do need to constantly reinvent things and we need to do that before the market makes what we have obsolete.

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