What is Innovation? – What it Means to Innovate
Innovation is a term we use here a lot at Mako. Not only that, but Innovation is a term you’ll see sprawled out almost everywhere in the tech and design world. Like all things, it seems that almost everything is easier said than done, but does this relate to innovating? In the tech and design world, we use the terms “innovative,” “innovation,” “innovate,” and “innovator” all the time, but do general audiences really understand what it means to truly “innovate”? Is there even a way to truly innovate at all? This blog will help clear up what the term innovation means in the tech and design world, how to innovate, and some great examples in business and tech that really showcase the meaning of innovation to inspire you in innovating your product.
The Definition of Innovation
According to the standard dictionary, innovation means ‘to innovate,’ and to ‘innovate’ is to make changes in something established. However, it seems as if the term innovation and ‘innovate’ mean different things to different people – especially given the context in where they see innovation belonging in. Since we are focusing on the world of design, innovation in design means to bring or create something new to the world of design. In a sense, the more we push and advance the boundaries of design and what we understand design to be, the more we are taking part in innovation and innovating.
You can apply this to innovating your product by looking at the example of innovation in home design. As major cities become scarce in affordable living, smaller living spaces are being made, therefore innovating small spaces to accommodate everything needed in apartments have been an exciting challenge for designers. The best innovations to come out of these living challenges are ‘micro apartments’ that have been particularly popular in densely populated cities such as Japan and New York. The most innovative aspect about these apartments is finding ways in which tenants can alter, change, fit, and use different items in their house given the small space they have.
How Innovation is Used
In defining innovation, it would be helpful to look at the context in which the term is used. When people describe things as an innovation, they are typically referring to something new that has improved what is currently or recently become outdated or, brought a new solution to a persistent problem. When we speak of the design realm, we routinely mention that the best way to build or create a successful product is to look at what we currently have, and single out the things present a problem to its users, and then build a product that solves those problems.
Therefore, innovation means we are creating products that are designed to provide us with convenient, efficient, and new solutions that past products have become not qualified enough to meet the new standards that society needs to function. With this idea, innovating your product can be exemplified through todays newest and most popular examples of Innovations such as electric cars and clear highlighters. The main idea is, innovation is used to help us advance and make the products that we interact with more convenient all whilst eliminating any possible problems.
Where Innovation is Used and Why
Another aspect to look at when we use the word innovation is to look at the field in which it is used in. Even though we’re focusing on innovation within the design world, the design world can also apply to the design business. Innovation isn’t limited to the creation of tangible things but can also work for creating ideas or strategies that work well in the areas of where they are needed. For example, if you are working on the marketing of a product design, bringing a new, creative, and fresh way to market a product in a competitive market also counts as innovation and innovating! With this idea, rather than innovating your product, you are creating innovation through presentation of what your product can offer.
An example of innovation in business or marketing can be a set-up prank that took place in a coffee shop to promote a new horror movie. Not only did the prank gather attention from the direct audience within the coffee shop, news and press from the city it took place in, but the film coverage of the event was put online and went viral which ultimately helped the overall promotions and marketing for the success of the film! This different approach to marketing is a great example of how innovation can take place in different fields.
If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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