Innovation vs Invention
Innovation and invention are words that are used often in conversation and written English. These words have similar meanings and even used interchangeably by some people. However, it has to be understood that innovation is not creation of a new product or process while an invention is clearly a creation of a new product or process that has not been there earlier. There are some more differences between the two concepts that will be highlighted in this article.
The invention of the wheel is supposedly the biggest of all inventions. The first time it was created was the time it can be said to have been invented. All later uses where it has been modified and presented in a new design is mere innovation and not invention. The first time an idea strikes a person and he let others know about his thought is when something new has been created, and it can be said to be an invention.
In our society, invention is seen with respect and admiration and viewed as a harbinger of economic growth. However, if one takes a closer look, it becomes clear that it is not invention but innovation that creates new products. Once a mobile phone has been made, all new mobiles are mere innovations and up-gradations rather than new inventions. In fact, when there is dissatisfaction with a product and service and someone tweaks an existing product to make it more suitable and efficient for use of others, it is called an innovation and not invention.
To sum up; invention is always something new that had not been hitherto seen or heard. Invention is something that is novel and has no precedent.
Changes that add value, usefulness, and functionality to a product or service are termed as innovations. So, improving upon an existing product, to make it more useful and acceptable, is innovation. Innovation does not necessarily mean something new or novel.
Let us take up through the example of microprocessor. It is something that was invented a long time ago, but then it started to be used in a lot of products and processes, to make them more useful and functional. This was innovation that is continuing, and we get to see and hear about new products making use of microprocessors to make them more efficient than earlier.
Another example of innovation is iPod. It is certainly not an invention, as MP3 players have been around for quite some time now and Sony’s Walkman was invented long ago. However, iPod was aesthetically designed and its ease of use with futuristic technology made it the most popular media player ever.
What is the difference between Innovation and Invention?
• Invention is when a new idea strikes a scientist, and he files for a patent.
• Innovation is when a need is felt for a product, and an existing product is redesigned or improved upon, to develop a new one.
• Novelty is the basic premise of an invention while it is not the central idea behind innovation.
• Inventions are new without any precedent while innovations are changes that add value to an existing product or service.