Many businesses assume that technology can bring them to success but even the best of technological innovations will not deliver their objectives if they do not make use of the right strategies. It is important to have a clear vision of the company’s goals to determine the right kind of technology that will effect changes. Innovations manifest in different ways and companies must determine which of the innovations they need whether it is incremental, breakthrough or radical.
• Incremental innovations can deliver gradual changes to the technologies that are in place
• Breakthrough innovations can provide more significant changes that will produce significant growth
• Radical innovations combine both technology and business innovations to create major new industries with exponential growth
Incremental innovations vs. radical innovations
Incremental innovations tend to be done in little bits at a time so that there is reduced risk. Once a company has produced a product, it follows that it has invested competencies and human capital and the focus will be on the reduction on costs or enhancing the product. One very good example of an incremental innovation is Gmail by Google. When Gmail was first launched it had limited features but what seemed most important was being able to deliver emails. Gmail had no distractions because it did not contain any flashy ads and interface improvements however, Google gradually innovated Gmail with more features making the service better and faster. Up to this date, Gmail is still consistently being improved. Google has made use of incremental innovations on its other products like Google map and the browser Chrome.
When a company undertakes radical diversification strategy, it is continuously innovates itself in an extreme way. It is interesting to note that such company endeavors to make it products unique to provide them an advantage. One example of radical innovation is blue ocean strategy which is best described as not fighting competition but circumventing it by simply creating its own market. Cirque de Soleil is a Canadian circus formed from a declining industry but it was able to circumvent events by providing their audience with absolutely phenomenal performances. Instead of charging a couple of dollars, entry required paying $70 but it provided the audience with an amazing spectacle that is worth many times over than the price paid.