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Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:00:00 GMT | By Max Nisen, Business Insider
15 lessons from the greatest business failures of all-time

Innovate in your own backyard first

A scratched and worn Caterpillar logo. (© Richard Carson/Files/Reuters)
  • A scratched and worn Caterpillar logo. (© Richard Carson/Files/Reuters)
  •'s sock-puppet mascot. (© Jacob Bøtter/Wikipedia)
  • Tony Hsieh of Zappos.
  • Seeds are painted to help orient the seed for laser sampling. (© Courtesy Dupont Pioneer)
  • Former Sunbeam CEO, Al Dunlap, in his office, Jan. 5, 1999. (© John Pineda/Getty Images)
  • Kmart shoppers (© Elise Amendola/File/AP Photo)
  • The Malden Mills factory in Lawrence, Mass., Nov. 29, 2001. (© Elise Amendola/File/AP Photo)
  • Barbie products by Mattel, Inc. (© Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Innovate in your own backyard first

Caterpillar's former CEO George Schaefer realized they were already a world leader in manufacturing. That core business gave them tons of logistics experience, and they turned that expertise into a new and very successful spinoff.

  • The first place to innovate is in your own backyard.
  • Pause before looking outside the box, it's not worth doing for its own sake.
  • Leverage your best qualities to the maximum.

* Bing: Innovations at Caterpillar under George Schaefer

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