Innovation versus Invention

Innovation vs. Invention by Bill Buxton is short but really full of great insights that sums up lots of interesting ideas about innovation. First about the innovation process:

"the difference between ‘innovation’ and ‘invention’. The closer one gets to Route 128 in Boston and Silicon Valley, the more it seems that people confuse the two. Too often the obsession is with ‘inventing’ something totally unique, rather than extracting value from the creative understanding of what is already known. Too often ,the obsession is with ‘inventing’something totally unique, rather than extracting value from the creative. (...) The key thing to note is that the average time from invention to market was 20-plus years. So much for fast moving tech sector! Which brings us to one of the most insightful quotes that I have encountered, from William Gibson: “The future is already here. It is just not uniformly distributed.” Here is the business lesson: innovation is far more about prospecting, mining, refining and adding value to ‘gold’ than it is about alchemy. Rather than focusing on the invention of the ‘brand new’, one might better strive for creative insights on how to combine, develop and leverage"

Then about design:

"So now we come to the big debate: who is a designer, and who should be a designer? Don Norman.It has an epilogue entitled, “We Are All Designers”. To this I say, “Nonsense!” (...) it was not enough to simply have great ideas.If you wanted the ideas to come to fruition,you had to spend as much time directing your innovation and creativity to fostering a culture of creativity and a receptiveness to innovation within the company, as you spend on the ideas themselves. "

Why do I blog this? preparing a course for tomorrow about foresight and innovation in a french design school.