Graphical User Interface or GUI is said to be one of the great innovations of the 1980s. Whoever saw GUI on a computer during that time was wow-ed by the interface and its capabilities. Few years later, GUI became a very common part of computing interface. People started to expect that in a computer. Then came touch. People were wow-ed by touch terminals at airports. Now it has become ubiquitous for all tasks like ticketing, getting quick information etc. Similar progression will continue for innovations in the future. All that is happening here is yesterday’s wow are becoming today’s expected and in the same spirit, today’s wow will become tomorrow’s expected.
Wi-fi receivers in laptop, touch on cellphones and broadband in homes were all wows yesterday and became expected today. Similarly if wi-fi in planes, 3D movies and civilian space expedition are wows today, they are very likely to become expected tomorrow. And there are some things that are unimaginable today that will become wow tomorrow and people will start expecting them the day after.
Bottom-line, don’t rest on your laurels if you were able to wow the world on one occasion. Your customers will start expecting that from you and there will be many clones lined up to cash on that tomorrow. Keep reinventing and wow them again and again. This in some ways explains the success of Apple. They stayed true to their address–1 Infinite loop–by forming an infinite loop of innovations over the last decade. They regularly come up with the next wow product just when people start expecting their last breakthrough product from them and their competitors. In a nutshell, key to success is to stay on top of the industry by continuous innovation.