25 reasons for the reluctance to innovate in the natural Stone industry

One characteristic that generally defines the people in the natural stone industry is their conservative nature. Unlike so many other industries like fashion, technology, automobiles, or, even direct competitors like the ceramic industry, the natural stone people tend to be very set in their views and are usually unwilling to try out new things, to experiment. Why explains this reluctance?

Below are 25 reasons / rationalisations / excuses which are usually given, or, are part of the thought process at the back of the mind of the businessmen for sticking to the tried and tested ways even when it is obvious that something new needs to be done.


1. Fear of failure when trying to do new things.

2. The risk of losing money after so much wasted effort.

3. Inspite of being fully conscious of the need to experiment with a new model of business, the owner / decision maker does not see a new generation taking over the company, so lacks the motivation.

4. The feeling that even if one does try new things they will need to be promoted and shown to others - which means someone will soon copy the idea and sell the same cheaper. So the perception is that no sustainable benefit exists even if the idea is good and the new product takes off.

5. Too much financial investment is required.

6. There will be a need to invest in human capital - too expensive and time consuming.

7. Did use to experiment years ago with new things etc. but there was no market.

8. Even if one does makes a new product with natural stone, how to sell it? Where to sell it? That the current client base is not adequate is duly recognised but there is no clarity thereafter.

9. Just do not know what else one to do apart from what is already being done.

10. Business used to be doing well for years, why change? There are always ups and downs in life, it is a question of patience, controlling costs, and waiting for the upward cycle to begin again.

11. The company is far too small. Innovation is something that needs to be done by bigger companies, those who have the money.

12. Will be retiring soon in a years time, just want to survive till the day arrives for receiving the pension.

13. Innovation is necessary and want to do it, the person knows very well what to do, but it will require acquiring new skills, buying new machines, hiring new people, selling to new type of customers. In the meantime have to fulfill the pending orders, so there is no time to dedicate to innovation.

14. Innovation will mean creating a totally different business, it means starting from scratch.

15. Let the competition do it, if it works I will copy him (and sell cheaper). If the competition fails, he / she is foolish - and I saved money.

16. Governments must help us in innovation - they should pay us to buy new machinery and hire new people and support us in marketing.

17.  Every time I decide to make a serious effort at a new idea that I have had in my head for a long time, something else always comes up and takes up all my time.

18. We ARE innovating, we ARE doing well, we just do not want anyone else to find out.

19. As long as the company is not losing money why complicate matters by doing something different?

20. The competition is in bad shape, it will close down sooner or later, once it disappears, my company will start doing well again doing what it always has been doing.

21. Just what is innovation? Blocks are blocks, slabs are slabs, tiles are tiles... everything else is all rubbish.

22.  Where is the market for this new product? Market will be too small, not worth the effort.

23. Am following closely what new things others are trying out, have still not come across something that is worth trying out.

24. I do want to make the effort at trying out new things, but my partner does not agree to it.

25. I will start innovating next year, this is not the right time.