Author Soren Kaplan has been studying how organizations and companies can use surprising events and experiences to generate new services and products that launch them miles ahead of the competition (hence his term "leapfrogging").
Here are five companies that did leapfrogging right:
1. Open Table: Created a restaurant reservation network to become the undisputed leader in online and mobile reservations. While other services focused on the individual users and diners, Open Table also offered restaurants "relationship management tools" to learn more about the people dining in their restaurants. That feature made them as popular with restaurants as much as with individual customers ( www.opentable.com).
2. Tilty Cup: Infants' drinking cups are manufactured by several companies, but Tilty Cup revolutionized the “sippy cup” for children by designing the cup in a way that accelerates motor skills development, making it a clear favorite for parents (www.tiltycup.com).
3. DMI Music: This company takes branding and corporate identity to another level by leaping over the standard fare offered by branding companies (visuals) to use sound and music as branding, and also pioneered the use of "audio logos." Think about it -- can you hear Rhapsody in Blue and not think of United Airlines? That's DMI (http://www.dmimusic.com/).
4. Restaurant Nora The word "organic" is commonplace now but it wasn't always so. Seeing how the market was slowly moving towards a more natural model in the late 1990s, Nora Pouillon had her restaurant certified as the first organic restaurant in the US in 1999, before anyone else was talking about organic food establishments. Of course, now it's a common practice, but she will always hold the distinction of having done it first (http://www.noras.com/).
5. Hemisphere Development: While it's common to see development firms try to develop and gentrify certain neighborhoods, this company leapfrogs over those and goes where there are no neighborhoods to speak of. Hemisphere created a new model for transforming “environmentally distressed” real estate into thriving ecologically sound communities (http://hemispheredev.com).