Making the choice to innovate and be creative in your business and in the products or services you offer—it’s a smart move that can can help differentiate in a competitive market. But does it mean you have to balloon your R&D budget or go on an acquisition spree to make it happen? Not necessarily.
Apple has been rolling out game-changing products in steady succession, while keeping their R&D spending at $4.6 billion, or roughly 10% of earnings over the last four years. And as Steve Cheney points out, that’s at odds with the strategy of some of its competitors.
Example: between 2007 and 2010, Microsoft spent a whopping $31 billion—700% that of Apple—on research and development.
Real innovation starts by thinking long and hard about your customers’ problems, about how solutions to those problems are being unmet, and then finding better ways to solve those problems in ways that benefit your customers…first.