We will use the words of Steve Jobs, whose genius and brilliant ideas, as implemented in the Apple products, changed the world and the way we live: “Companies”, he said, “forget over time what producing great products is about. The original, brilliant idea that led them to success gets rotten”.
So initially there is a brilliant idea. We are not necessarily talking about an idea that will change the world, but about an idea that makes you feel satisfied and enthusiastic, an idea that motivates you to work on it and to devote all your energy to. Let’s say, for example, that someone is dreaming of running a pharmacy that will be different from the existing ones. This pharmacy will excel in customer service, make use of the modern marketing and communication methods, reject outdated operation models and operate in 21st-century terms. It sounds easy, but it’s not. Because, when an idea gets off the beaten track, it is an innovative idea even if it may seem simple. A visionary entrepreneur needs to believe, to have faith in his idea; to struggle and fight in order to convince the audience, let alone to establish his business as a market leader.
It is even more difficult to fulfill all the above when we are talking about services and not products. Services are intangible and more difficult to win the consumer, as opposed to a product that can be flashy, innovative, easier to take the world by storm. It requires time to convince the public that the services provided by a specific pharmacy are different and unique. Money has to be invested and the pharmacist needs to be dedicated to his vision, in order to stand out from the competition. However, if the investment, the faith and his vision are matched by the knowledge on how to proceed, then the success is definite.
The second phase is even more difficult because the original vision needs to be constantly renewed. It cannot last forever. It is the second sentence of Steve Jobs: “The original, brilliant idea that led them to success gets rotten”. So, it needs constant renewal and the keyword is “innovation” once more. After a while, no one remembers the original brilliant idea, if it is not renewed (by the way, that’s what the Apple staff is afraid of; that they copy a lot and are not anymore on the innovation path).
Can a pharmacist innovate? Of course. The innovation potential for a pharmacy knows no limits. Pharmacies begin to realize the benefits and make use of marketing and communication strategies on social media; pharmacists are investing on staff training, in creating a corporate identity and so on. New ideas, daring spirit and innovation are the key to long-term success nowadays.