We would be hard-pressed trying to call ourselves Innovators. We buy open mold frames and rims, build wheelsets using non-proprietary components, adopt a technology only when its bleeding edges have become rounded and more easily handled, and even think of ourselves not as product managers, but editors. If we're guilty of any innovation, it's in our marketing. And even there, if we're breaking any molds it's just because we're candid about our business. Telling the truth shouldn't be an innovation, but if it is it sure isn't our fault that very few other brands decide to do it.
Instead, we think of ourselves more as fast followers, which is a business school term for bandits. Some of our best ideas come from other brands, and we're quick to give them credit when appropriate. In our defense, we at least choose the right brands to emulate. For example, in matters of customer service we're not trying to be the next Verizon. Rather, we take inspiration from Zappos, and want our customers to be as happy as theirs. So when we read earlier this week that Zappos is offering a special Leap Year promotion, and giving their customers not one year to return merchandise, but one Leap Year (4 calendar years), we thought that was an awesome enough idea to rip off, wholesale.
We're changing it slightly, though (is that an innovation?) so that it's not about returns, but Warranty. For any frame, bike or wheelset bought on Leap Year 2012 (today), we'll extend the Warranty from 2 years to 2 Leap Years - 8 years of worry-free ownership. (Half that long for hubs, which are normally warranteed for 1 year, not 2.)
The promotion ends at midnight tonight in whatever time zone you're in. If Leno is on, your window is about to close.