Kedron Rhodes Thoughts on Design, Innovation & Leadership

Invention is Not Innovation

I spent a couple of years in an industry (publishing) that is battling the winds of change and looking for ways to stay relevant in the digital age. This is, perhaps, the reason innovation has such a high value placed on it within the publishing industry.

Innovation is great, and the publishers could benefit from (and are) insightful innovation. Here's my concern though; invention does not equal innovation.

Inventions aren't inherently innovative.

There are 3 simple questions to ask before inventing something in the name of innovation:

  1. What problem am I trying to solve?
  2. Who am I solving the problem for?
  3. How can business gain from this?

If you start by asking those 3 questions, you might find that your invention actually fills a need somewhere. These, are of course, not the end-all litmus tests to your innovation process, but it's a good place to start.

The push to build mobile applications is a shining example of invention over innovation.

Yes, the mobile app market has a lot of potential. The app market is also a wasteland of applications that don't solve anyone's stated or perceived need – invention over innovation.

Keep the innovations coming, and a useful invention just might pop up along the way!

Here are a few inventions that make me smile, but aren't even close to useful. Enjoy!

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