The 2009 CRM Service Awards: Rising Stars -- Introduction

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Who knows where innovation—successful innovation—comes from? There’s no formula for the concept, certainly—no recipe for the ingredients required. You have to ensure not only the invention of a better (cruelty-free) mousetrap, but also the right confluence of events to provide that better mousetrap the better visibility needed to achieve real success.

One of the most appealing aspects of innovation, though, is how obvious its success seems with the benefit of hindsight. As part of this year’s Service Awards, we cast a spotlight on five companies—five successful innovators—as our 2009 class of Rising Stars. Will you recognize the names? Perhaps. Some of you will be familiar with some of them. (One will be an old friend, a reminder that the old is sometimes new again.) Those that make sense will make perfect sense—in fact, all our Rising Stars may seem perfectly reasonable selections now, but it’s worth remembering that you hadn’t heard of them just a few short years ago. That’s another funny thing about innovation: Sure does keep you on your toes.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the five companies we cast an approving eye on -- some names that might be new to you, but at least one that will be all too familiar, in a different context.

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