Innovation is evolution not revolution

While The Internet killed (the perception of) Innovation is most definitely hyperbolic, this take on our culture of accelerated expectations and escalated promotion is worth a read. Do you agree that innovation is made of many long series of evolutions – not revolutions?

Tech news is saturated with the equivalent of “Sears and Roebucks redesigns catalogue” and “Zenith to improve knobs on radios.” We mistake updates to Facebook or some new feature on the iPhone for a business trying to innovate. The PR departments of these big consumer-facing tech companies try to cloud out the rest of the news cycles. Those tweaks represent a business trying to compete – not innovate. Those are not the same things.

Even though its confluences can cause rapid shifts in technology, innovation is made of many long series of evolutions – not revolutions.

Take the good ol’ microprocessor. You’d be hard pressed to find a technological developments in the last century that’s more important. Critics of today’s progress love to point at it and say, “Why don’t we have moments like that anymore?” Yet it took decades, a century even, of research to finally put the workable technology in practice.

But what did the public see? They saw companies like Fairchild Semiconductor put it all together and come out of nowhere to dominate the industry (for a while).


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