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Innovation Definition to New Inventions Success
Innovation Definition to Business Innovation

Innovation Definition

What is an innovation? The best innovation definition compares innovation with invention. It doesn't always have to be brand new (like an invention must). The electric light bulb, the airplane, the automobile, the telephone, the phonograph are all inventions and innovations. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, the Concord, hybrid fuel cars, cell phones, and compact discs are also innovations that have had a strong impact on the market.

To really give a good innovation definition, you have to talk about the market. In this angle, the definition of innovation is any idea, product, or service, which is perceived by consumers as being new. There are different kinds of innovation that fit this definition of innovation.

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Continuous Innovation

A minor change in an established product or service is called a continuous innovation. There is nothing radical about it; further, the reason for the innovation is probably to address customer critiques of the established product, make the established product "better" than competing products, or to create a new variation on the theme so that the core product has even wider appeal. An example of this kind of innovation is adding honey and nuts to a cereal to make Honey Nut Cheerios. These kinds of innovations happen frequently and are very important in keeping your product "fresh!"

Disruptive Innovation

Discontinuous (or disruptive) innovations, on the other hand, are radical because they make deep impacts on society and can change entire lifestyles and buying patterns. It is also possible for them to obliterate niche markets entirely. Personal computers with Windows/Apple MacIntosh systems are perfect examples of this kind of innovation. Digital cameras are on their way to destroying the market for personal film-using cameras. These kinds of innovations can be dangerous and exciting. They can make or break companies. The key to winning is knowing what it coming next and being positioned to cash in on the change! Both continous and disruptive innovation are parts of the overall innovation definition.

Business Innovation

Business innovation is improving the way you do business. Who cares? Dell Computers became a powerhouse in selling personal and business computers because they innovated how it operated its business. Business innovation also applies to how a company operates and does business: its internal structure, its marketing campaigns and branding, and its core "mission." Successful businesses are constantly innovating along these lines to give themselves a competitive advantage. It is imperative for a business to apply innovation to things other than just its products. Your operations impact your branding, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, costs, etc. If you can outdo your competitors on these issues, you have the ultimate advantage.


According to business writer Ken Cottrill, "Companies need to establish a seamless innovation process--an enterprise-wide exchange of ideas that will ensure that the information and expertise required to create, market, and service breakthrough products is available and accessible to those who need it."

Another innovation definition might be simply, "Innovation is the lifeblood of any business." Innovation is progress defined. We live in a time of amazing innovation (and invention) thanks to computers and the lifestyle changes they bring. Everyone is innovating. Aren't you?

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