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Is New York The New Innovation And Design Center?


I hear that San Francisco-based innovation consultant Stone Yamashita Partners is opening an office in New York City in a few months on West 12th street.

San Mateo-based Jump Associates, another innovation consultancy, is rumored to be heading to New York soon as well.

Palo Alto-based IDEO, the biggest of the innovation/design consultancies and most global, opened their New York office last year.

And while not in the ??nnovation?business, Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject, is a brand and product strategist, and he spends half his time in New York these days. So does Jeneanne Rae, co-founder of service innovation consultancy Peer Insight.

So what’s up with this eastward migration of design thinkers doing innovation strategy work? I think it’s the realization among big consumer goods companies such as J&J, Pepsi and Coke, plus the financial services folks on Wall Street and in Boston, plus the old-style media and marketing people on Madison Avenue that they really need

the tools and methods of the New Transformationalists to get them closer to their consumers where they live (social networks) and shop. The old mass marketing using focus groups, making products and services in-house and throwing them at consumers is dead. Nike's motto of Running Together is where it's at. Co-habiting and co-creating with people, not for them, is the new paradigm.

SYP, Jump, IDEO are in New York to do that. Boston-based Continuum is another big player in innovation on the East Coast.

R/GA, the hot interactive design company that did the Nike Plus site, has been in New York for years.

And Smart Design, also New York based, is buiking up and moving into strategy as well.

IBM is also emerging as a powerful innovation consultancy and it, of course, is New York state-based. It's work on social networking, collaborative innovation, user-based idea generating and more is making IBM is big player.

Something's cooking.


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