Is Innovation Simply “Thinking Differently”?

Is Incremental Innovation Innovative?

Hmm – according to frog – and according to them as a “global innovation consultancy,” the concept of innovation is changing. Personally, I think that the concept of innovation is not changing – innovation has always been about “thinking differently,” it’s all a question of scale, a question of “how different.”

And to me, small-scale thinking has its place – but it’s not innovation.

No one can argue that Apple wasn’t innovative when it put together pre-existing parts into a package, wrapping it in a beautiful package, then breaking into a whole new market – which is where the iPod came from – and begat the whole iCraze even though the parts weren’t innovative, the design and the fact that a computer company, not a consumer electronics company, was going to develop and sell this thing. Jobs made Apple re-invent itself into a consumer electronics company. It was a big risk, and it paid off. That’s large-scale thinking, and that’s not this.

When you add a new feature to an existing product, that’s a small scale – which is great and helpful, but the question is – is it n? When you add a new emoticon to your instant messenger, expand the size of your Wifi range, accept PayPal as a payment mechanism, or even develop an iPad app to do the same thing that your customers can do on your website, it that n?

No, that’s just product development.