Where do ideas come from? 

The answer is simple. 

Ideas come from Terry. 

Terry is an all-knowing being who contains every single thought — past, present and future — simultaneously. The mysterious entity we now call The Cloud is envious of Terry’s scope and speed. Until computing power gets off its can and finally decides to start making a contribution to the world, we’ll have to depend on Terry for ideas. If for some strange reason we don’t believe in Terry, we can always wander into new ideas by taking the next best option: engaging each other in conversation.

It’s my contention that ideas — great ones — stem from discussions between people of varying opinion and background. When two perspectives come together, a third-ness is born into being. This third-ness, woven from parallel and contrasting vantage points represents a new idea. Sure, ideas can materialize in a vacuum, in the head of a single genius who spends long stretches listening to chamber music and staring at dust collecting on the leaves of potted plants. But those minds are rare, and the imaginative wells within them tend to run dry. The perfection of perpetual motion machines and endless, zero-waste energy alludes us. Alas, to discover new ways of thinking we are required to depend on each other.

New ideas, inspiration and innovation are essential in the modern marketplace. In recent years, food and beverage companies have placed an emphasis on these aspects of business by creating such roles as “director of innovation,” “chief innovation officer” and “vice president of product innovation.” Identifying fluctuations and subtle shifts in the marketplace have become vital to continued success. Companies have allocated resources to ensure that their teams are connected to important changes among consumers and in essential approaches to conducting business. Achieving a state of awareness and openness to unfamiliar concepts is quickly becoming the standard for food and beverage companies of all sizes.

I recently discussed the importance of diverse collaboration with Alan Reed, Executive Director of Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, an organization whose mission is to provide a forum for collaboration and support among food and beverage companies in the Chicago region. The notion of bringing together a variety of industry perspectives is key Reed’s vision for the organization. His assertion is that when a diverse group of professionals engages in dialogue good things happen. Ideas happen. The mixing and mingling of opinion and insight generates fresh perspective, and in turn ignites innovation in the product development community.

What we call innovation comes from our experience with other people. The more expansive and diverse our relationships, the more subtle and refined our innovations become.

Here’s the basic idea: We inspire each other. We always have. 

Our innovation derives from exchanges with other people.

That’s where ideas come from.

That, or Terry.  

Developing New Products for E-Commerce on Tap at NPC in Minneapolis

September 30 – October 3, 2018 – Make Plans to Attend Now!

Ecommerce certainly is not a future concept. It’s already here, growing—and dramatically changing the landscape for everything from food and beverage R&D to consumers’ purchase decisions. Each day brings more new foods and drinks exclusively developed for online sales—ranging from Amazon’s Wickedly Prime teas, snacks, soups and spreads; to PepsiCo’s new “Drinkfinity” flavor pods. 

What’s next for this market in 2019 and what do leading CPG innovation leaders and small industry disruptors need to know? Come hear New Products Conference speaker Manu Sareen, Managing Partner, Marketplace Explained; and Amazon’s former General Manager for Private Brands (2013-2017). 

Sareen built and managed two start-up businesses, grew Amazon Basics to be one of the company’s biggest and most profitable brands, and managed Amazon’s food and beverage private brands division (Wickedly Prime, Amazon Fresh, Happy Belly brands). Sareen has more than 20 years of experience in building and running multi-billion dollar retail businesses. Prior to joining Amazon, he held senior merchandising posts at Best Buy and Radio Shack.  

This is a “must-hear” session for food and beverage company vice presidents of Innovation, Sales & Distribution, R&D, Packaging, Marketing and Operations!

Learn more at www.NewProductsConference.com.