The quote came in the context: Well to me true innovation is something that’s not only an invention but an improvement. And you know sometimes …. it’s not difficult it’s not hard to make things different but it is hard to make things different and better. Most of the solutions, most of the problems in the world already have solutions of one kind or another. So all of those solutions can be improved upon.
The quote was said during this interview: Jeff Bezos on Entrepreneurship and How Amazon Innovated.
This is a quote that we should plaster on the office wall of every startup. These days you often hear of “innovations”, but in reality there is little to no improvement.
I would add to the wise words of Jeff Bezos, true innovation should be leap improvement not small incremental improvement.
Measuring innovation is hard in some cases, especially when it comes to technology. Innovation in non tech domain, are easier to identify and judge as such. In technology, the innovation can take place on multiple levels, on the components levels, on the coding level, or on the overall level.
Going from oil powered cars, to electric battery powered cars, is a true innovation.
Upgrading from single use rockets, to reusable rockets, is a true innovation.
Going from flip phones, to smartphones, is a true innovation.
But, going from a smartphone with 2 lenses to a smartphone with 3 lenses, that’s no longer innovation.