Take the recent launch of Apple's new Macbook Air. You could hardly avoid the collective swooning of the press over what is must surely be the one of the most striking laptops ever. And you'll pay handsomely to be the first to open its ultra thin cover at your neighborhood Starbucks.
Innovative? Of course: Apple continues to school the electronics world in the art of industrial design. But beneath that beautiful sculpted aluminum and glass is a deeply conventional device.
What's really new about the Macbook Air? Not much. It's super thin. But it works like virtually every laptop sold during the last ten years. Apple won't be able to keep them in stock.
Quick! What was Wang Laboratories primary contribution to the PC era? You probably didn't say SIMM computer memory, but they were first to bring the technology to market before being overwhelmed by Toshiba and NEC. Winning a patent suit against the two companies in August, 1991, didn't help: Wang filed for bankruptcy the same month.
Google wasn't the first search engine. Once upon a time, companies like Altavista ruled the search roost. But Google did it better. When is the last time you used an Altavista search page?
Once upon a time, computer word processing meant programs like WordStar. Then along came Microsoft, and new office product created (ironically) for Apple. While these are lots of new office suite options these days, the corporate word processing standard remains MS Word. The power of doing something better.
What is the power of doing something old like talking, better? Find out what your customer communication style says about you at Fast Company expert blogs.