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Strategic Consultant with HYPE Innovation, helping enterprises get more value from their innovation programs. Firm believer in the concept of jobs-to-be-done, which stresses the importance of understanding customers' wants and needs. Also sports a 2:57 marathon PR. Dad to two awesome kids.

4 responses to “Innovation Culture Eats R&D for Breakfast”

  1. Erix

    Interesting article, thank you.

    I do think that the word Innovation is not correctly used here.
    I wouldn’t say Apple and Google innovate a lot, they mostly polish existing concepts into extremely well designed products, matching market expectations at a given time.
    Timing and quality (perfectionism?) is key in this approach.

    Innovation is when you are in advance on your market or when you change or create your market. It is quite a different beast and requires a strong vision plus a lot of R&D (or chance sometimes).

    Both approaches can be disruptive. I’m not judging, comparing or saying one is better than the other. Certainly the first one, with a focus on timing can quickly generate high revenues. I’m just saying innovation does require R&D and Apple / Google are not really innovating companies, they are more brilliant followers rather than inventors.

    Best regards, Eric.

  2. Hutch Carpenter

    Hi Erix –

    Thanks for your note. Let’s look at Apple. My personal view is that innovation occurs not just with technologies, but in other areas as well. Apple’s App Store has created a powerful ecosystem around their iPhone. It’s true they didn’t invent:
    – Phones
    – Smart phones
    – The apps in the market
    – Process of downloading software

    But they did innovate to combine the apps market into the consumer mobile experience. What were smart phones like before the iPhone? Anyone remember? We had the Blackberry. Great device (I fondly remember having a Crackberry). But Apple innovated to pull it all together. Apple also leads with its design and UX innovation. Keyboard on the screen? It was always a keyboard made of plastic keys.

    After the iPad, which is selling phenomenally well, which tablets are experiencing big sales? Again, Apple’s innovation allows it to dominate a market.

    Innovation includes taking ideas from other markets and applying them in a different domain.

    Finally, I’ll leave you with this. “Innovation” as a term can elicit myriad definitions. Some consider that a critique of the whole concept. Not me. What it tells me is that it’s a rich area with different aspects. I polled a bunch of smart folks on LinkedIn one time for their definitions, collected 25 definitions and posted them:


  3. Erix

    Good point.

    So for instance Apple is marketing innovation, while MS is technology innovation.
    I guess we might have finance innovation (B. Madoff ???) or social innovation (FB) as well.

    Best regards, Erix.

  4. Ramaseshan

    Well “researched” article