Innovation through Communication

My first office was located in the SONY Center in Berlin. I furnished it with fine furniture from a renowned German company. I needed some additional pieces quickly, so I purchased a few inexpensive cabinets from IKEA. They fit seamlessly into the décor.


Likewise, Vogue blends expensive and inexpensive wardrobe items--something for everybody. Some women buy fake Fendi handbags, while others prefer to splash out more cash for the real deal. How you value an item is a personal choice. Wise merchants use purchasing patterns as feedback to set the value of their glamorous products.


Anyone can buy a simple blue plastic goodie bag at IKEA for 99 cents. It is electric blue and adorned with the company logo. You can purchase virtually the same bag for around $2000 from a prominent designer. Without the logo, you would be hard pressed to distinguish one bag from the other.


Pricing is a matter of communication based on patterns of feedback. Business is a game based on prices. People communicate their sense of values by what they pay.

Feedback is easy to understand for anyone who has ridden a bike. If you lean too far left or right, you can recover your balance with a subtle turn of the handlebars which control the front wheel. Simple feedback lets you control the process of riding a bicycle based on actual performance rather than expected performance.

Positive feedback infers turning things up. Negative feedback refers to reducing the flow. A thermostat can be adjusted to turn up the heat or cool things down at certain temperatures. In human terms, criticism kills feedback. People need to feel valued in order to produce value.


In science, business, and other complex systems, feedback loops are circular arrangements of causally connected elements. Each element affects the next until the last adjustment feeds back to the initial event. Feedback creates a self-regulating system, which moderates the entire product cycle. Is your firm hoarding and hiding excess inventory? Are Alphabet, Amazon and Apple breathing down your neck?


Is your new product “hot”? Has public interest in your field cooled off? At which point should you adjust?

Inventive innovation is your only chance. When you are ready to fully grasp what that means, we should talk.