I had the pleasure of listening to Nick Pudar, OnStar VP of Planning & Business, at the Business Genome, in NYC. Pudar, was one of the speakers that was introducing Andrea Kates -- author of Find Your Next. The Business Genome is:
The Business Genome approach employs cross-industry research using business genomic patterns shared by companies in different industries to 'unearth' opportunities that previously had not been considered or even envisioned.
When Pudar took the podium, he spoke about OnStar and the innovations the company has labored through. Nick made an interesting comment -- he explained that the OnStar technology was "mundane." He then paused for a moment and continued to explain that it's "the putting it all together" that is very difficult.
OnStar is nothing more than a mashup of technologies -- GPS, call centers, live advisers, data centers, hands free-calling, remote diagnostics and triage techniques. And Pudar is right -- all mundane. But getting all that technology moving in one direction is monumental. I mean the end game for OnStar is making the car -- the safest car.
Pudar explains that at times innovation is something measured in patents. But that true measurement should be a guiding innovation which is driven by an end in mind. Once that is understood, you can look for a mashup of different business models that will help achieve those goals.
I would have to say that Pudar and OnStar have been innovative and have kept that end in mind. I test drove a Toyota Camry with OnStar FMV and was impressed. The FMV is essentially a rearview mirror, which is stuffed with -- a GPS, cell phone, accelerometer, speaker, mic, Bluetooth and turn by turn navigation. But as a consumer, I can care less for all of these technologies, innovations and business models. What matter most to me -- as a parent, son, brother and husband -- is that OnStar simply works. And I guess that's the whole point.
Innovation can be large or it can be small. So fail frequently but fail small; and iterate quickly. --Nick Pudar