What is an innovation?

What is an innovation?

Innovation is one of the most used buzzwords now-a-days. It’s the headline on many conferences, courses and seminars. Articles in the world’s most respected magazines cover stories about incredible and never-seen-before innovations on a regular basis.

The term „Innovation“ is used to label a major breakthrough like NFC/mobile payments as well as system evolution like desktop virtualization. There are several definitions of an innovation like „Innovation is a new idea, more effective device or process by Wikipedia, „A new method, idea, product, etc.“ by Oxford Dictionaries or „process of implementing new ideas to create value for an organization by Yale Information Technology Services.

Businessdictionary.com describes innovation as „process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need. Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products.

Innovation can come in a slow and evolutionary way, incrementally adding value to a product or service (for example fingerprint authentication in iPhones) or in a revolutionary way, introducing a breakthrough and disrupting certain area of business (for example mobile phones vs. wired telephones or tablets vs. traditional desktops/notebooks)

Key attributes of any innovation are: 1. creation of new market or significant competitive advantage on an existing market, 2. employment of new technologies or usage of existing technologies in a yet unseen way and 3. economical profitability when sold to end-users.

What do you understand under the term of innovation?