Invention vs. Innovation

Post ImageToday Don Dodge posted about a Wall Street Journal article that asks whether Microsoft is driving innovation or playing catch-up with rivals. If I were to ask myself why I read Don’s blog, today’s post would be the answer. Don is careful not to fall into the “Microsoft copies everyone!” or “No they don’t they’re awesome!” traps, and instead gets right to the heart of the matter:

People tend to confuse invention with innovation, as the WSJ has here. They use the words interchangeably, but they are very different.

Invention is the creation of a technology that is totally new. Innovation takes a collection of prior inventions to the next level by combining them with existing products or technologies, and producing a commercially viable product that solves a customer problem.

Both invention and innovation are vitally important to our industry. Microsoft does both but rarely gets credit for it.

I have quoted quite liberally from his post, but I wanted to get all the main points. In the post he also explains how R&D are related to invention and innovation. Definitely go read the entire thing, it’s worth it.

Read: Don Dodge

2 thoughts on “Invention vs. Innovation

  1. Don is providing his own definition for innovation, although he claims that everyone else is just mistaken. Innovation does mean to most people "new or improved", so includes invention.

  2. True, but the point he makes is still valid. Most people tend to ONLY consider new things when you say "innovation", and they ignore the very the "improved" part of the definition.

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