Inspired by the 100 Yen shops in Japan and similar retail concepts in Europe and the U.S., Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guofu and Japanese designer Miyake Junya founded the low-cost variety store chain MINISO in 2013. Over the last five years, MINISO has been the fastest-growing retailer in China, according to Euromonitor International. Now, the company has a global empire of 3,500 stores in 79 countries with total sales of $2.6 billion USD in 2018.
GE is not alone in upping its bet on software-driven innovation. Today, a Tesla car has more lines of code than macOS or the Windows Vista operating system. However, the fact is that many companies that have made their fortunes outside of high tech—in medical devices, retail, and other analog industries—have been slow to catch on to this game-changing shift in what drives sustainable innovation, the shift from creating physical goods and experiences to smart software development.