While “Back to the Future II” is arguably the best movie in the trilogy, not many of its predictions came true. We’re still not wearing two neckties, faxes have been out of use for at least a decade, pockets still go on the inside, and Jaws 19 still isn’t out (although Universal did produce a trailer for the movie to celebrate last year’s BTTF day).
But the biggest disappointment suffered by Back to the Future fans last year was that Nike didn’t keep promise. The company had said that they’d release the self-lacing Nike shoes by October 21st 2015, the day when Marty travels to the future, but the products were sadly delayed.
However, today is the day. Finally, 27 years after the movie came out, Nike releases BTTF Air Mag self-lacing sneakers. They don’t look exactly like the ones in the movie, and they came out a bit too late to please disgruntled Back to the Future fans, but the technology is finally here.
Of course, just because the company released the sneakers a few months late, it doesn’t really take away from the importance of the achievement. And these days, Nike is all about achievements and innovations. The company is most certainly the most progressive clothing company in the world right now.
According to Tinker Hatfield, one of the most important Nike designers,
Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it. We’re able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.
Sure, that might seem highly over-confident and maybe even narcissistic, but when you get the achievements Nike has managed to grab, you’ll have all the right in the world to be so confident. The company is not even close to being on par with its competitors, leaving them far behind a few years ago.
Their biggest source of innovation lies, of course, in the company’s patents. Nike has been seeing an annual increase of 14% in their number of patents ever since 2000. This brings them to over 4,000 patents granted over the past 40 years. For comparison, their top competitors – Reebok, Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance only have a total of somewhere around 1,000 patents combined.
A huge part of this success stems from their business management. Even though they haven’t released any actual numbers, it’s estimated that the company allocated between six to nine percent of their $30 billion yearly sales to research and development.
Image source: YouTube