What I Learned From the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies Celebration

True innovation doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s something we can all participate in – if we dare to get started.

Posted on 
April 28, 2023
Laura Foti
CMO, Specright
Press Release: Specright Named to Fast Company "Most Innovative Companies" List

The idea of being innovative is something that most people and companies aspire to.

After all, creative destruction is real and organizations that don’t evolve are destined to become irrelevant or fade out altogether.

But the reality is, real innovation is often hard.

Specright Founder & CEO Matthew Wright and CMO Laura Foti attend Fast Company "Most Innovative Companies of 2023" honoree celebration.

That’s why it was such an honor for Specright to be named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. We were named the third most innovative company in the enterprise category, recognizing the impact Specright has on how companies bring products to market.

For me, it was a surreal moment.

Early on in my career, I would grab a copy of Fast Company to learn about the latest innovations and hear the stories of entrepreneurs behind them.

Often, these innovations appeared to be overnight success stories.

Now, I know better – but I still fall into this trap of believing the path to breakthrough innovation is a straight line.

Just last week, we attended the Fast Company celebration for companies that made the list.

The keynote event was an on-stage interview with Mira Murati, the CTO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. She spoke about the advancements of artificial intelligence and the impact it was going to have on the world.

If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT.

Over the past few months, the company seemed to be everywhere, from releasing their new model to making headlines with Microsoft’s 10 billion dollar investment.

I was inspired hearing about their story, so I decided to look up the company.

It turns out, OpenAI was founded just one year before Specright, in 2015.

What appears on the surface to be an overnight innovation was actually years in the making.

In my five years at Specright, I’ve learned this firsthand.

True innovation usually requires a change in mindset – it’s not doing something 10% better, but fundamentally differently. ChatGPT isn’t just a better search engine, it’s an entirely different kind of search (this has Google, the undisputed leader in search, scrambling to keep up).

When a new innovation comes to market, it’s typically adopted by tech enthusiasts first.

This makes sense, because these people tend to be open minded and are constantly searching out new technologies to make their lives better, whether at work or at home.

At Specright, we’re extremely lucky to have amazing customers who helped us imagine a new way of making things through digitized specification data. In our first few years (and still today) many of our game-changing features like Duplicate Spec Detection or Clone From came from customers.

At each stage of the journey, we’ve been able to mature the product based on the feedback of people using it. Our customers are much more than users – they’re our innovation partners, pushing us with new use cases and applications with the goal of helping them make amazing, sustainable things. I hope they view us as innovation partners as well, as we help them rethink mission critical processes with a spec-first approach.

The pace of innovation today is insane – and it impacts every industry, not just technology.

Our customers, who range from CPG companies to retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, heavy industries and more are all being forced to innovate.

For some, innovation might take the form of needing to be more sustainable, for others it might be new ways to unlock cost savings or become more resilient.

It’s important for us all to remember that making giant leaps in these areas doesn’t happen overnight – it will take time to realize the fruits of our efforts.

That’s why, when it comes to innovating, the most important thing to do is to begin.

You can read more about the honor here.


Laura Foti

Laura leads marketing and investor relations at Specright. Prior to Specright, she led advertising and analytics at GE Digital, GE’s Industrial Internet software business. Before that, she was a consultant at Deloitte Digital working in enterprise digital transformation, where she helped clients design and deploy eCommerce experiences, develop revenue-driving mobile apps, and reimagine their global digital marketing strategy. Laura was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising and Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 and 100 Women to Watch lists. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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