Types of Innovation

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Because our website aims to help you get acquainted with basic concepts of business, thus enabling you to come up with successful business ideas or marketing strategies for an existing business, we thought of writing an article about the types of innovation that exist. That way, you will be familiar with yet another set of tools you can use to develop or innovate your business, or which you can use to create an entirely new market with its own set of consumers.

Thus, the types of innovation that you can come across and utilize in your strategies are: sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation.

Disruptive innovation – We’ve already discussed this type in another article and we presented it in detail, so you can go there for more comprehensive information. Nonetheless, for thoroughness’ sake, let us say that disruptive innovation is the type of innovation that disrupts existing markets by creating an entirely new one; it can refer to a technology, a product, a service or a strategy that innovates an existing market, thus posing competition for well-established technology. This usually caters to a small market or niche market because it can’t afford to invest into research, development or marketing like well-established companies. Some examples to clarify the term: radiology was disrupted by ultrasounds, chemical photography was disrupted by digital photography and USBs were disrupted by cloud computing. In order to be able to produce or nurture innovation, one must understand existing products. For a business to be able to come up with new products or strategies, it needs to keep in touch with the latest tech news. It is essential for all business owners and managers to subscribe to good tech websites like http://www.sifrutech.com. This website dissects the latest gadgets and apps. Understanding these products and how they are received by the market can help you come up with new business strategies. Keep in mind that in order to innovate, you must be up to date with all types of new technology discoveries.

Sustaining innovation – It can be of two kinds: revolutionary innovation and evolutionary innovation. Unlike the disruptive type, sustaining innovation expands and develops existing markets; thus it means investing in developing and bettering a certain product or service, or a certain business model or strategy.

  • Revolutionary innovation is one of the types of innovation that, as opposed to disruptive innovation, does not create a new market; instead, it innovates a product or a type of service in a way that the market does not expect, in a way that customers are not expecting. A good example is the automobile, which improved transportation in ways that people weren’t expecting, or telephony which made telegraphy obsolete. Nowadays there is a wide variety of cool new technology available which makes it very easy for people around the world to communicate and share ideas. In fact, if we consider the technological trends of the present, we can agree on the fact that sharing devices and software are the most revolutionary innovations of the present as they redefined the way that the use the internet.
  • Evolutionary innovation is the type of innovation that works on developing a product in a way that markets and consumers are expecting it. Thus, mobile telephony was an innovation to be expected from the fixed telephones that existed. Another example would be the fuel injection, which naturally replaced carburetors some thirty years ago.

The invention of automobiles was a revolutionary technological innovation in the beginning, because production was so expensive that it couldn’t absorb the market for horse-drawn carriages for many years. However, once Ford industrialized and managed to produce many vehicles quickly and cheaply, it soon became disruptive innovation because more and more people would renounce the millennial-old carriage. Industrialization in itself soon became disruptive technology because it made man-made work obsolete by replacing it with faster-acting, better performing machinery that delivered standard quality.

These are the main types of innovation; by studying them further and looking for existing examples on the market, perhaps you too can come up with an idea to revolutionize the business market and thus find success.

June 2017
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