“Our job is to invent new options that nobody’s ever thought of before and see if customers like them.” —Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Earlier this year, a Fast Company article came out naming Amazon as “the world’s most innovative company.”
Over its nearly 22 years, Amazon has moved into one sector after another and gentrified it, even if that meant tearing down the company’s own existing structures. Amazon’s smart speaker rose on the lot where its smartphone fizzled out. The latest version of its music-streaming service was constructed on top of its initial music store. Its Emmy Award-winning original TV shows are built on a crowdsourcing platform that the company first introduced for aspiring scriptwriters. Even Amazon’s fashion business—now the second-largest seller of apparel in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley—evolved from brand experiments in outdoor furniture, home goods, electronic accessories, diapers and now perishables.
This company really exemplifies the business philosophy, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Or as Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos sees it, “Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service. And I love that. It’s super motivating for us.”
As I look around NAWBO, both in my chapter and across the nation, I am amazed by how innovative my NAWBO sisters are in their pursuits. They have launched some incredibly fresh and exciting business concepts, products and services that are so on the mark—and even ahead of their time—in today’s world. They inspire me to be more innovative—to believe that good enough never is and to continuously push the envelope—when it comes to my own business, what I offer and even how I interact with my customers. There’s no one way or best time to be innovative; it can happen at any time in ways large and small.
In just a few days, many of our NAWBO sisters from around the country will join me and the NAWBO National Board and staff for our National Women’s Business Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Every year, when I attend the conference, I am so impressed by the innovation in the room and leave with so many ideas that I can apply to my business. And best yet, I’m just inspired—to do more, to reach higher and to make even more of a difference for myself and other women entrepreneurs. If you live within driving distance of Minneapolis, it would be a shame for you to miss out on this premier annual event for women entrepreneurs. Click here to join us for just the Opening Reception on October 16th or for the entire conference on the 16th and 17th. I hope to see you there!
Meanwhile, your NAWBO National Board and staff have been busy working on exciting ways to innovate within this great organization. Last year, we introduced an online education platform through the NAWBO Institute that puts education developed exclusively for women entrepreneurs at your fingertips—making it easier than ever to work on your business when you can. Read more about it here. And we’re currently working on a virtual business program with a well-known female athlete, entrepreneur and author and her team of experts. Stay tuned for more details!
Enjoy this issue of NAWBO ONE with its “Innovation” theme…I hope you’ll be inspired to innovate in your own unique ways—large and small—in your own business!
—Kathy Warnick, 2017-2018 NAWBO National Board Chair