Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The depth of Innovation.

Innovation is a well used word when it comes to things new and exciting- but what does innovation really mean? What can you expect from something that boasts being new and innovative?

The answer is mostly subjective as different products have different limitations but in general innovation must have four things: depth, application, usability and desire.

Before something can present a new feature it must have depth. The reason that iPods became one of the best selling mp3 players (if not the best) is because they had depth. Any player could play mp3s and other file formats- but the iPod had the music, the video, the whole iTunes package and much more.
It crept under the surface and made a change that rippled outwards and left a lot of innovation in the wake.

Anyone can make a new and exciting feature for just about anything...but what kind of use does it have? Take laptops, for instance, before the days of wireless and WiFi the only option to have internet was an ethernet cable sprawled along the floor. That was kind of innovation- but at the same time, it was just using the technology a desktop PC had in a laptop.
The idea of internet on a laptop may have been a unique feature at the time, but it was hardly of use to most people as most people were still perplexed by a modem.
However, when wireless internet was widely available and the wireless receivers were plugged in via USB- that was innovation that had use. It wasn't a quirky feature, it was actually half decent.

So, you have a deep innovative and useful feature- but can anyone use it?
A good example of this is the (often god-awful) video conversion software you get with mp3 players. Video, on the go, anywhere you want- innovative. A player to play it- innovative. The software that actually gets it onto your player- completely useless.
Therefore, the whole process is nullified until you find an alternative and even then you might just reconsider the whole thing from the start.
Innovation must, above all else, be usable!

The reason someone wants to buy or use something is the key issue. Hard drives were much in this category in 2006-2008 where 250gb-320GB hard drives were becoming standard issue...but no-one needed them.
Back then 80GB was enough for all but the most fanactical user.
However, with the rising demand for digital download video games and films there's a higher desire for bigger hard drives. Not to mention, any video game player is probably packing a 500gb hard drive just to install all their games! So, in this case, the innovation of hard drives that now hold up to 1TB is a useful feature.
Remember, always, whatever you make someone has to want to use.

And that's everything!
I hope this has been an informative post and has given you a better outlook on how useful some of this "innovation" actually is. Plus, helps you to appreciate some of the better innovation you have encountered.

Thank you for reading, as always.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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