When To Believe Promises of Innovation

You can find wisdom in the old mechanic’s saying: “You can have it quick, cheap, or good. Pick two out of three.”

A company’s innovation will only result in success—be it a small-business owner opening a new restaurant or an international conglomerate spending millions and millions on a new product launch—if it can deliver something to the consumer better, faster, or cheaper than the prevailing status quo.

I used this framework when I analyzed Anheuser-Busch Inbev’s roll-out of Lime-A-Rita several years ago.

When the product entered the marketplace a few years ago, a friend asked me: “So, should I buy Anheuser-Busch stock now?”

Instead of answering that question, I broadly discussed the likely effect of this product launch.

First, Lime-A-Rita would not improve the customer’s access to beer (this wasn’t a home delivery service innovation). Second, it wasn’t any going to cost less than its main competitors. And third, taste … Read the rest of this article!