Orkut Shuts: Why The Need For Continuous Innovation

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 30, 2014



If you have your Orkut account active, it’s time you back your data. As announced years ago, Orkut is  shutting shop on September 30, 2014. 

Orkut, a Google property, was once a popular social networking site. But it failed to keep pace with competition from Facebook and  LinkedIn.

Both Orkut and Facebook were launched in 2004. While Facebook has become the world’s largest social network with over 1.2 billion users, Google declined to comment on the number of users Orkut has, according to Reuters.

In a blog post, Google had said, “Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell.”

The closure of Orkut is a classic example of how competition mar anyone, who refuses to change with the times. Maintaining an innovative quotient is essential to ensure competitive edge. With emergence of smart customer era, organizations are required to offer something new everytime.

That is very well defined by Peter Drucker in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship: “For a long time, there is awareness of an innovation about to happen….Then suddenly there is a near-explosion, followed by a few short years of tremendous excitement, tremendous start-up activity, tremendous publicity….Later comes a ‘shakeout,’ which few survive.”  

Technology advances like predictive analytics act as enablers for organisations to take the right decisions. But no data or theory offers the accurate capability to capture the need for change and plan a strategy.

In a competitive era, continuous innovation is key for survival of the fittest. It doesn’t just apply to social networks, but it is the same for to every industry. The C-suite needs to redefine their strategies to suit the changing times and re-evaluate their  business models to succeed in long term.

Continuous innovation also subtly means self-attack. Jack Trout and Al Ries in their book “Marketing Warfare” say that the best way to improve a company’s position is to constantly attack it. 

The theory is simple. Either you do what you believe is the need for the future or do something that customers expect you to do. 

 Umair Haque writes in HBR: “Innovation is not a value meal, efficiently packing in more fries and double, triple, quadruple patties for a cheaper price. Innovation isn’t just the latest technology crammed into in a clunky box. Innovation is what people actually find useful.”

The companies that want to survive competition need to constantly work on improving their creativity. Understanding the market needs and catering to it means there is no option other than newness in everything you do. Analysts believe creativity is a practice.

As competition turns into a game of who survival, none can take an organization’s future for granted.