Renewing Invention: Lesson from Google Wave, Kindle & Hulu

February 2, 2010Sparxoo


What makes trends cutting edge and unique are the ways they are reinvented or portrayed, with the special touches that blend the trend of yesterday with the latest and greatest of today. What is reinvented doesn’t have to be decades old; in fact, it may only be a few years before improvements are made. Established brands can still succeed and have influence, as long as they can adapt to change, stay on top of trends, and continue to search for the next big thing.


Google Wave – With Wave, Google has changed the way many internet users perceive e-mail. Though many of us are still figuring out how to use the innovative collaboration tool to its fullest, it’s clear enough to see that, when opened to the general public, Wave might replace personal e-mails.

Google will have to create a robust system that integrates traditional e-mail into Google Wave. Because Wave is so revolutionary, Google will have to bridge the gap between the early adopters and late majority, who are typically less tech-savvy.  No more back and forth replies, or multiple e-mails from the same person. We’ll have an entire record of our conversations, track changes, and avoid clogged inboxes. With this, Google has essentially reinvented communication and e-mail.

Kindle – Ten years ago, the thought of reading an e-book would have sounded preposterous. Now, it doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary. Amazon’s Kindle device has reinvented how we read books. With other retailers getting in on the trend and debuting their own electronic reading devices, it’s clear that the Kindle is not a fad, and is here to stay. Though many scoff at the thought of seeing books replaced by a battery-operated device, millions of others don’t seem to think so.


  • Hulu (TV reinvented) has more viewers than Time Warner Cable, with 38 million views vs. TWC’s 34 million.
  • The Dark Knight, the latest installment in the Batman series, and Spiderman 3 each made box-office records as the highest grossing films of 2008 and 2007, continuing the trend of reinvented superhero icons and introducing them to a whole new audience.
  • Netflix, the company that has reinvented the movie rental industry, sees users add 2 million movies to their queues each day.
  • Mad Men, AMC’s runaway hit, has reinvented the way we see the 1960s era, and has become the cable network’s biggest hit to date.

Take Aways

Those companies which are able to adapt to a new playing field and demonstrate leadership in progressive thinking are the ones who will ultimately succeed in the increasingly competitive business world. Consumers have made it clear that they’ve taken control of what’s popular and what isn’t. Companies who can listen to customers and continually improve upon their products and services will be able to see the windows of opportunity first. Even the craziest of ideas just may work – it never hurts to think outside the box.

Taking something common and making it interesting is the ultimate way to succeed in the reinvention trend. Designers have done it with jeans – making them more than just a basic part of our wardrobe, turning them into works of art, and changing the role they play in fashion, and in our individual wardrobes. By seeking ways to “gatejump” and stand out from the competition, a company will be well positioned to succeed in the new decade.


  • The desktop computer will be transformed  – everything will be done on smartphones or tablet computers that are easily portable. From watching TV, reading a book, or playing a game – it will all be in the palms of our hands.
  • The Kindle will expand beyond books, giving users the ability to read magazines and newspapers via the device, becoming an iPod for the publishing world.  An App Store equivalent will be formed by leading publishing houses to bring users all available content.
  • Just as the Polaroid camera is making a comeback decades after the height of its popularity, 80s and 90s electronics will also make a comeback in 2010 and beyond – but with high-tech, modern twists.

Who’s On Trend

  • Google
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Apple
  • Amazon

Read all of the 2010 trends here. (PDF)

Image by Robert Proksa from Stock.Xchng