Fast Company magazine put recently out its 2013 list of Most Innovative Companies. I take all these type of lists with some healthy skepticism, assuming – until proven otherwise – that there’s about as much shady background lobbying going on than in the Olympic Committee.
(Ed. note: Speaking of which, I doubt that even any Corporate PR department anywhere would dare to top the audacity of the IOC proposal to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics. Cauliflower ears or not, any sports fan with respect to the sports history and the meaning behind the phrases like “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, “Just Do It” or “Impossible is Nothing” simply couldn’t believe their ears this morning)
False positive or not, I read these type of lists with great interest, both for entertainment value and getting ideas how to be populistic, if needed.
I didn’t find it surprising that none of the usual mobile or computing companies made Top 10. Not Google (#11), Not Apple (#13) nor Samsung (#17). Nor did, as Fast Company commented themselves, Facebook and Twitter. ‘Mobile’ and ‘Social’ seem no longer be catchphrases used in the context of innovation.
Amazon made #2. Interestingly, less so because of their digital efforts, but for speeding up the same-day delivery.
#1? Another physical world company. Nike.
For anyone close to sports, the pick itself was not that surprising. What was surprising, however, was how come Fast Company missed the opportunity to coin a catchphrase describing how apparel and footwear companies are using digital features to transform product categories.
Phrases like ‘brick-and-mortar’, ‘cloud’ and ‘big data’ took everyone by the storm. We need something similar.
Being a non-native English speaker, I feel unsure of proposing anything, so I just screenshot the six most used materials of Nike (source: Nike Web site), in case that would be of help.
The first instinct was to go for rubber-and-cotton company, but at least the Finnish translation is prone to some unwanted extensions of the meaning (or do I just have odd friends?). Cotton-and-polyester company would kind of work, and definitively cover Adidas too, as they “own” the 1970’s style warmup jackets, but it doesn’t properly cover footwear. Leather sounds a little old fashioned, and impractical, as the material for housing any digital gear.
This was more complicated than I thought. But I trust there’s an answer somewhere.