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Can we prosper through incremental innovation?

By November 19, 2012 No Comments

“We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy.”
— Business strategy and management expert Gary Hamel

Mr. Hamel’s point is generally well taken, or, at the very least, acknowledged. The astronomical money-makers give birth to a new market. As I like to put it, these innovators unveil a once-hidden market.

But let us not overlook the ways to improve upon profound extravagancies. The automobile has a new bell or whistle with every new model. Dryers can now steam clothing. The telephone now comes with an internet browser, music library, flashlight – it doesn’t end. Even the potato peeler receives revision.

If an economy is a tranquil lake, then the great innovator drops a tremendous stone into the water. The subsequent ripples that disrupt the lake’s tranquility are the incremental movements from an initial mighty rock.

Eventually the waters calm. This does not mean not to count the antecedent ripples.

An economy is limited only by the imagination of its people.

As Thomas Edison said, “Genious is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Image Source: Thomas Edison.

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