Innovation or Spin

Type in the word "innovation" at and you'll see these results:

  • "The act of introducing something new"
  • "The act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new"
  • "A creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation"

Ask Hampton Inn's Phil Cordell, and he'll tell you that changing out all of the beds in their hotels is part of their committment to innovation and 100% guest satisfaction. You can read the article here.

Yes, they spent $100 million on 210,000 beds. Yes, they changed them out in a year. Yes, I bet the beds are better. But, that doesn't make this innovative. In fact, the last time I checked, a good night's sleep on a decent mattress is expected at any hotel.

In my opinion, you need to add "inventive" to the definition. Once you do that, it has a chance of being remarkable. At roughly $476 each, Hampton's new beds probably aren't worth all the hype (what's remarkable about 200 thread count sheets?).

The iPod was innovative. The introduction of the motor inn by the likes of Howard Johnson was innovative. Hotels without front desks are innovative. Changing the beds to something slightly better isn't.

My something truly remarkable...then, send out the press release.