On the value of innovation

I’m part of an innovation community at work. A question was asked of the community, why innovation, what is its value and can we provide any examples. My answers:

For me its super simple, value depends on outcomes. Outcomes can be many but some of the most important I believe are:

  1. To be first. Generally, this means first to market with a new product, service, solution, etc. Example of first mover advantage is Amazon selling books online which led them to where they are today – highly diversified and innovative.
  2. To be better. Being first is not always best and sometimes being second has its own advantages. If you are coming from behind, you had better be better and ideally learn from the first movers mistakes. Apple’s revolutionary iPod is a good example. It eventually beat SONY’s Walkman range for personal audio – a category SONY invented. iPod went on to become iPhone, great continuity.
  3. To be cheaper. Price is not everything but it does account for share of wallet so will get you market share if you can achieve it. Low cost airlines is a good example of this.

And in line with the last point, my 2 cents 😉

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