Thursday, September 20, 2012

Survival of the Most Creative

Products from R and R Imaging. Creative and Thriving!

One of the perks of my job is showing new specialty substrates to printers and photo labs. In most cases, these products allow the printer to offer their customers a new and improved product. Some people immediately see an application for the paper, but I frequently hear "this is a beautiful product, but I don't see how we would use it."

While pondering this objection, I stumbled upon three interesting articles:

The first article presents the results of recent scientific research by Cornell, Penn and the University of North Carolina that supports the conclusion that people have a bias against creativity. The article observes that anything truly creative has to depart from the status quo and that departure makes people uncomfortable.  In my experience, that discomfort is sometimes a genuine fear of change.

The second article tracks trends in the printing industry that will lead to an industry dominated by a few large successful profit leaders and a large number of flailing small companies. The profit leaders will enjoy higher margins because they offer services that are more relevant to their customers.

Not only do the profit leaders operate more viable businesses they appear to be more relevant in the market and to their customers.  They display better adaptiveness in terms of their ability to change with the market and the environment.  They have built into their DNA an ability to endure hardships, perform at consistently high levels, and keep on going.
Wayne Lynn
While Lynn's article did not use the word "creative" to describe the successful profit leaders, I believe that appearing "more relevant" and displaying "better adaptiveness" requires creativity. The leaders of these organizations will need to be the first to see and understand new opportunities and have the courage to experiment with new products and processes.

The final article serves as an example of survival of the most creative. R and R Images is a major customer of Convertible Solutions and has historically embraced new technology, processes and products long before the rest of the printing industry. The fact that they need to add two Indigo 7600 presses to handle their growing volume is proof that innovation and creativity work.

Convertible's sister companies, Inter-State Studio and Publishing and Black River Imaging have also added several more HP Indigo 7500 and 7600 presses this year in preparation for an extremely busy photo gifting season. We work very hard to continually generate and explore creative ideas and launch new products.

How do you feel about the changes in the printing industry?  Do you feel that "Survival of the Most Creative" applies?

R and R Images in Phoenix, Arizona

You might also be interested in:

Your Creativity is Scary!

Your Business Model is Broken

The IDE3A Process

A Tale of Two Offsets

The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.