Think Big

Innovating For The Future

For Lee, radical innovation will continue to be a key part of the way CamSys operates. It's not an entirely stable one, he admits, citing one long-term project to develop a mapping device that, despite years of development and marketing work, has so far failed to sell.

But good ideas can be found everywhere. For instance, when customer requirements pointed toward the need for a portable measurement system like the laboratory-based one he'd been selling, Lee had the idea of trying an inexpensive digital still camera that's normally sold to the consumer market. The new portable target model came out in 1996. So far, it's providing just the kind of improvement in cost and performance that characterizes many radical innovations.

"People are saying this [product] is great," says Lee. "They tell me they never thought someone could come up with an idea like this."

Contact Sources

CamSys, (518) 276-4082,

GM Consultants, (416) 920-3841,

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center,

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This article was originally published in the October 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Think Big.

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