Timing and Process of Knowledge Acquisition During an Innovation Wave

This article is the fifth and final one of the series about Innovation Waves, after Innovation Waves Associated With Invention and Discovery, Time Sequence for Innovation Waves and Their Applications : the GPS Example, How Kodak Missed The Turn…, and Knowledge Distribution During an Innovation Wave. Early strategic phase: knowledge acquisition to mitigate risks At the onset of a potentially fruitful innovation project, many companies need access to a portion of the relevant new knowledge while performing their minimum duty, roadmapping. This includes strategically evaluating the potential impact of the new invention or discovery on the company’s current business and then defining if, how, and when the company should introduce the new concept into its innovation pipeline. By definition, the invention or

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Knowledge Distribution During an Innovation Wave

This article is the fourth of the series about Innovation Waves, after Innovation Waves Associated With Invention and Discovery, Time Sequence for Innovation Waves and Their Applications : the GPS Example, and How Kodak Missed The Turn…. When an invention or discovery is born, only very few experts, researchers specialized in the specific topic, can understand it and foresee its full potential and limits. If the concept is indeed fruitful, other laboratories will try to reproduce the results and will distribute the knowledge further within a small international community of experts. This process of knowledge distribution is summarized in the table. In the early phases, the knowledge associated with the invention or discovery is not widespread, and it is generally missing within the

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Time Sequence for Innovation Waves and Their Applications : the GPS Example

In the previous article, we introduced a series of 5 articles about innovation waves, with Innovation Waves Associated With Invention and Discovery. Here is the second article of the series. As an example, let’s consider GPS, a tool for geographical positioning and that was initially created by the military. The annual rate of GPS-related innovation can be represented by GPS-related patents granted by the USPTO. As shown in the figure, the GPS-related innovation wave appears as an S-shaped curve with an acceleration peak in the late 1990s. The early phase following the invention of GPS was the lag time. The industry was contemplating GPS, a new push technology, with prudence. Eventually, its successful introduction into plane, ship, and finally automobile navigation

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Innovation Waves Associated With Invention and Discovery

This article is the first of a new series of 5 articles about Innovation Waves. It introduces the topic with Innovation Waves Associated With Invention and Discovery. Looking at innovation from a historical perspective reveals that the long series of innovative products generated by the industrial world have come in a progression of waves, with each wave originating from an invention or a discovery. The following are a few examples of inventions and discoveries that have changed drastically the world in which we live today: Liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology (including electro-optics), first a scientific discovery then the basis for products such as flat-panel LCD displays and LCD projectors Signal compression, first as mathematical algorithms then the basis for products such as music

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Innovation Cycle and Risk Management

In the previous articles of this series, we wrote about Internal Knowledge, Time Horizon, Frontier Sciences, Academic Knowledge, Learning and Experience, and Parallel Worlds.  Here we deal with Risk Management. Innovation as a risky venture Innovation is the process of pushing a new concept toward its implementation in the society with the objective of creating value. At least in the early phase of its process, innovation is always an endeavor with a low probability of success. Innovation is risky, because it explores paths that have not yet been visited or mapped and in which the presence and location of treacherous obstacles have not been recorded. Uncertainty is the key, unavoidable aspect of innovation. The economics of innovation can only be

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Innovation risk management as a gambling game

“Fail often, but fail fast and cheap” is a well known mantra, often repeated by innovation gurus. However this piece of wisdom is not so easily understood by enthusiastic would-be inventors and innovators. This text attempts to illustrate this somewhat puzzling recommendation and demonstrate by a priori reasons how true, challenging and beneficial it is to fail fast and cheap. 1- Failure as most likely fate for innovation Innovation starts with an original idea, an invention. This idea is new; it sounds great but, as nobody has materialized this idea before, trying to go on with it and generating value implies opening a trail within unexplored territory. Indeed the idea will have to blossom in a context dominated by knowledge

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