You read that right, every idea is a fad. No truly it is. Here’s why – to sustain a strong competitive position in the marketplace, an innovation HAS to be a fad. Every innovation must be replaced by a subsequent innovation thereby relegating the previous innovation to something that was important yesterday. Continuous innovation isn’t just something which is a nice to have, it’s a necessity for a long term sustainable business.
The critical characteristic of an innovation is determining it’s competitive shelf life. In a low competition industry (say Cable), even small incremental innovations can provide a sustained advantage for much longer than a similar innovation would in a highly competitive industry (say Cell Phones). Competitive industries tend to move in a “neck and neck” type of race. i.e. Look at the race for 4G coverage.
Ultimately every innovation degrades from a competitive advantage to a commodity feature and is why innovation is a fad.