Innovation alone is not enough

Companies often focus on technology instead of the customer's problem.

Smart innovators frame their ideas to stress how a new concept is compatible with the existing market landscape.

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Invention and innovation
  • Invention is the creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time.
  • Innovation is when someone improves on or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service.

Steve Jobs' iPod is an example of great innovation. The iPod was not the first portable music device, neither the first device to put hundreds of songs in your pocket. What made Apple innovative was that it combined elements in a single device.

  • Innovation should give a unique competitive position in the marketplace.
  • Differentiating factors of your innovation should be conceptualised around the key strategic focus of the enterprise.
  • Know the customers.
  • Identify resources, processes, risks, partners and suppliers and the ecosystem in the market.
  • Assess the value of the innovation and how the idea will bring that value into the organisation.

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RELATED IDEAS

Innovation at work

When you look at great geniuses like Newton, for example, it can be easy to imagine that their ideas and work came exclusively out of their minds. But that is seldom how it works.

Innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Regardless of how unique a work seems, if you look a bit closer, you will always find that the creator mastered what other people had already figured out.

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The social and personal importance of music

Music is important to people individually and on a societal level. Music is greatly influential to the state of technology. The devices we use to listen to music shape the technological landscape.

But when did earbuds become synonymous with a portable music player, and where did it all start?

The Walkman Debut

Today when we have unlimited songs in our pocket, we take them for granted, but forty years ago in 1979, when Sony’s first portable music player the “Walkman” debuted, a personal, portable music player was unheard of. From being a shared experience, music suddenly became a deep personal soundscape, hammering between one’s ears.

Though big by today’s standards, the Walkman was a tiny thing to behold in Japan, where it debuted, and the youth took to the funky gadget that could carry one’s music out of the bedroom, into the subway and city streets. Sony ended up selling two million Walkmans in less than two years.

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