Dan Williams 4 min read

Surfing at Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch. In today’s new normal, it’s not about innovation, it’s about EXECUTION.

I had the opportunity to join Surfaid last year for a fundraising event held at Slater's Surf Ranch. While this could be considered far from my working world, there are fundamental lines of similarity. 10 years ago, this technology didn't exist. It was a pipe dream (pun intended). The concept for this innovative technology existed before. Hell, many have tried to create it on cruise ships and resorts. But it had always failed to capture the real audience of avid surfers. Until Kelly was able to EXECUTE.

Digital innovation refers to the application or use of digital technology to solve existing business problems. It’s the ‘application’ and execution that is core. In other words, it’s less about the concept of innovation and more so companies figuring out how to innovate and map this to core use cases that solve for growth.

Ideas such as digital transformation and digitization are closely related to the concept of digital innovation. It’s all ambiguous until it’s put into execution. In today’s rapidly evolving environment, many companies realize that they need to transform, innovate, and adopt new technology in order to stay competitive- But it’s imperative to have a roadmap and plan BEFORE ‘coming in hot’.

With that said, it’s critical that businesses become digital first and have to consider new ways to solve old problems. But ironically, it’s this same process that leads to 70% of companies to fail. Failure doesn’t happen at the strategy or conceptual level- it happens in execution. Taking on too much. Poor resources. No C suite executive sponsorship. Lack of roadmap.

Some digital innovation initiatives for our clients include:

  • Developing a new strategy in an existing business context but shifting market. These companies didn’t invent the market- they are purely focused on providing a new context and platform for how customer audiences engage and experience the product or service.
  • Choosing to adopt and implement new software or platforms- this is every company who decides to invest in enterprise marketing cloud- the likes of Adobe, Sitecore, Hubspot or Acquia. These are core platforms that enable digital maturity at the core.
  • Deciding to evolve from analog to digital processes- think of Uber, Netflix and Instacart that moved ‘old school’ process into a digital environment.

Because the global marketplace is becoming more digital, businesses must figure out how to evolve quickly in order to stay competitive.

Those companies that innovate and transform the right way see a number of benefits, such as:

  • Streamlined business processes that come as a result of automation, SaaS, and other integrated technology solutions
  • Digital solutions that cut costs, improve ROI, and boost revenue
  • A competitive advantage 

Takeaway: Digital innovation is the best solution for businesses that wish to evolve, stay competitive and push to amplify revenue. But start with a detailed plan with use cases, resources and new process for delivery. Test it, then iterate.


Dan Williams

Dan leads BRINK Interactive mission to be the best boutique digital agency on the west coast. His 'lead from the front' approach is one he enjoys. In his spare time as a non-work human, he enjoys hanging with his family, surfing, travel and finding enjoyment out of simple acts.