More thoughts on innovation

At last week’s moxie session we discussed the idea that invention doesn’t equal innovation.

I’d not heard it put in the exact words before, but I had previously heard the idea. A quick trawl through the notes made many years ago came up with something similar from Peter Drucker.

Drucker said innovation is economic, not technical. He describes it in market terms, not product terms. He said:

…the more you create your economic conditions, rather than passively adapting to them, the more control you have over your business. Innovation must be systematic, purposeful and organized. it must be consistent with a company’s long term mission.

Successful innovations make profits for several years; they’re not a flash in the pan.

So there we have it. For New Zealand to become a successful source of innovation we need to focus more on economic matters and less on bending fencing wire to make clever devices.

Innovation doesn’t equal invention

One question on the agenda at Last Monday’s Moxie Session asked if the word innovation means anything.

The discussion was about the state of innovation in New Zealand, so this wasn’t a simple matter of semantics.  The consensus around the table was that it does mean something.

One memorable quote:

Innovation doesn’t equal invention

Sadly I didn’t record who said that. The idea is a good jumping off point. If it isn’t invention, what is it?

The answer, and I’m paraphrasing here, is innovation goes beyond just having a good idea, it is as much about implementing the idea. Innovators need to package their good ideas in ways that make them practical for others to use, this also means getting the product to market.

A problem with Feedly

Google Reader was the best way to read RSS feeds. It still is. But not for long. Google plans to close the service on July 1.

One of the best things about Google Reader is that it is web-based. You can use it in any browser on any device. It would sync my feeds, keep track of read or unread messages and remember starred items across my phones, tablets and computers.

Feedly is a nice alternative on the desktop. It works even better on my iPad. There’s no version for Windows Phone 8 or Blackberry, which means I can’t sync RSS across my devices.

NextGen reader is great on the Windows Phone, but not so good on desktop Windows – it’s a Metro app – and non-existent on the iPad.