SAN FRANCISCO–It's all about innovation. That observation might well sum up the Inman News' Real Estate Connect 2004 conference held here last week. The conference, apart from one notable exception, lived up to its reputation as a place for online and technology companies to announce and tout their latest innovations for the real estate space. Innovation matters because companies stagnate and lose their competitive edge if they lack new ideas. Efficiency, effectiveness and profitability depend on innovation and the competent execution of innovative ideas. Innovation is so vital that management guru Peter F. Drucker described it as "the specific instrument of entrepreneurship...the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." Whether the innovations announced at Connect will create wealth remains to be seen. But the innovations themselves nonetheless suggest some intriguing insights. By far the most audacious innovation announced at Connect this year was Smar...
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