Building an Innovation Incubator

Hefner:    Yeah.  I agree with the premise of the question because the rate of change is just so fast whether it’s through globalization or technology that, you know, if it wherever true that you could do sort of a five-year plan and then just put it aside and execute it, it’s certainly not true today and there is a constant need to innovate.  One of the ways that we have benefited this, we do a lot of our business development in partnership structures whether that’s in the US or globally and that allows us to kind of go to school, if you will, on what other organizations are also doing.  So, for example, take the mobile sector.  You know, if you only look at the US market where frankly our, you know, cellphones and our networks are so far behind what it’s possible to do with, you know, mobile devices in Europe or in Asia that you wouldn’t even see the possibilities.  But, because we’re a global company, we were able to see six years ago the potential for those devices being entertainment devices as well as, you know, e-mail and phone devices.  And, again, striking deals with companies overseas to test different kinds of content, whether it was games or video.  So, I think looking outside of your own organization and working with your partners, even vendors can be an interesting source of innovative ideas.

Christie Hefner has tried to design a corporate culture that is open to all ideas.

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