Is Innovation Overrated?


Is Innovation Overrated?
Photo by Javier Miranda / Unsplash

Many successful companies achieved success by making improvements to existing products and technologies. For example, Apple Inc. emerged as a tech innovator by seeking solutions to customer problems. With the use of the best existing technology, it innovated new and creative products such as Apple Watch, iPad, Apple TV, etc. Companies like these keep generating revenue via innovations, whether incremental or breakthrough.

But what if there's a lack of Innovation?

Blockbuster Entertainment Inc., also known as Blockbuster, was a famous American company that provided video games and home movies on rental services. Its unfortunate demise was due to its failure to innovate.

Although Netflix started as a pay per rental business that later transitioned to a subscription-based business model, becoming the largest streaming platform online through its continuous breakthrough innovations. Netflix managed to soar past Blockbuster as it attracted millions of keen customers who wanted to view their shows and movies on their devices. At the same time, blockbuster's reluctance to update its sales strategy eventually led to its demise. Innovation is not a single concept, and failure to capture the differences in types of Innovation throughout the management process leads to problems and frustrations.

Most of the successful brands in the world have one thing in common, Innovation, which is considered the lifeblood of industrial development. And imagine the world without Innovation; there would be no smartphones, social media, computers, electric vehicles, and many other famous things which make life easier.

Small companies and start-ups specifically believe that they should be inventors to be successful and gain a competitive edge in the market. In reality, many successful businesses have focused on a solution to a problem and not the technology. Many companies fail due to a lack of Innovation, while others behave in risky ways in the rush to innovate. An innovative product may or may not need customers' needs and wants. Operational excellence and incremental Innovation succeed as long as an industry follows the predicted path. And all industries experience breakthrough changes that make existing strategies obsolete.

Innovation can either be incremental or breakthrough. Incremental Innovation operates with relatively low levels of uncertainty, benefits from established processes, is extremely important for sustaining competitive advantage in current markets, and is usually preferred by established businesses. It is all about employing creativity within the existing strategies and industry structures. On the other hand, breakthrough Innovation redefines paradigms and offers new ways to look at the world. Breakthroughs are often swift and spectacular, but they can also evolve over more extended periods of time. It is all about employing creativity to come up with new strategies, industries, and markets.

Nonetheless, let it be learning to all the aspiring entrepreneurs that their lives can be much easier if they innovate according to the consumers' demands and needs—reluctance to innovate and demolish the business.