Innovation


In this section we seek to review the literature regarding innovation, to see how it can be applied to our project.

Based on the following external sources


Dan Goldberg

IT Innovation Persistence: An Oxymoron?
· Talks about how IT investments are generally the “largest capital spending item”
o 300-500 million dollars per year on IT
§ 50-90 million dollars of that is purely “new” IT products and investments
· Despite this, there are Fluctuating attitudes…
o Times of pessimism
§ Doubt about the value of investing in new IT
o Times of optimism
§ IT innovation is seen as important
§ During optimistic times
· Begins to talk about how long term IT innovation and investment is key
o Wal-Mart
§ Started with computerize
§ Then first to go wireless
§ Then first to deploy RFID
· Radio-frequency identification
o Promotional Tracking
o In-Store Inventory Management -- Items
o Asset Tracking
· Started talking about Fluctuating Attitudes again
o InformationWeek and Hoover’s Handbook of American Business
§ Companies evaluated by how they spend their money and resources but not how much money they spend
o There was a dataset of 2211 firms from all across the board from banks to construction

o Graph shows periodic function with key points labeled
§ Mid 80s - high
· PCs expected to have competitive advantage
§ 80s and early 90s - declining
· Corporate America in the throes of self doubt and angst about value of investments in new IT
o Washington Post FEB 1987
§ Mid 90s - reversal
· Internet
· Financial industry transformed by IT
o The Banker FEB 1995
§ Late 90s – high
· Dot com boom
§ 2000 – reversal
· NASDAQ crash
· IT investment is causing discontent in corporate boardrooms
o Financial Times MARCH 2000
§ Early 2000s – declining
· “IT Doesn’t Matter.”
o Harvard Business Review MAY 2003
§ Mid 2000s – reversal
· Second online boom
· 90% of managers thought IT could create competitive advantage for firm
o Economist APRIL 2005
· New technologies follow “Hype Cycle”
o Starts with breakthrough
o Huge expectations
o IT investment rises
o Technology does not live up to expectation
o IT investment falls
o Most firms follow this and do not do well
o EX
§ Dot com bubble and collapse
· Overall
o DO
§ Long term investment in relevant IT
o DO NOT
§ Invest in innovation due to a popular trend in other businesses
§ EX
· Plymouth opticians


Roots of Innovation
-By Michael Laff
· Uses examples to explain innovation
· Begins with example of innovation
o Pure Digital
§ The Flip
· Video Camera
· Light weight
· Basic
· Plugs directly into desktop
· Not even zoom
· Stuck with it
· Thought there would still be a demand for a simple video camera
§ Sold to Cisco this year for 590 million dollars
o Great example of innovation
§ Looked for what consumers wanted
§ Went basic
§ Technology is complex and filled with features
§ “That’s the beauty of innovation. It’s not just high tech, low tech, or no tech. If the end consumers see benefits and it’s different from your competitors, then you’ve got a winner,” says Thomas Kuczmarski, a consultant and faculty member at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School.
· Definition of innovation
o Innovation comes from market demand
§ Word Overused
§ People can’t define it, only identify it
§ Not about creating something new
· Its about aligning products with market needs
· Another example
o DRIFIRE
§ Fire retardant technology was already out
§ Shirts have been out
§ He put them together
· Other types of innovation
o Collaborative
§ Employees work together
§ Communicate more efficiently
§ Improve interaction among teams

· We are taking things that have been around and just using them to make something in demand
· Also collaboratively




Kevin Dickey


Joseph, Rhoda C. "Individual Resistance to IT Innovations." Communications of the ACM 53.4 (2010): 144-146. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. Web. 13 Sept. 2010.

This article discusses resistance that is often encountered against technological innovations. Such barriers to the introduction of new technologies into the mainstream include age, income, and complexity. It argues that if companies can understand people who are skeptical of or initially against using their product, then the innovation can be tailored to suit their needs more. This increases the audience of the product and allows the innovation to become successful as a business product.

Adopters are classified into five groups – the innovators, the early adopters, the early majority, the late majority, and the laggards. While many assume that all of these groups will eventually adopt the technology over time, this is not always the case. Marketers of a product must put in extra effort to reach those who are not in the first three groups. Resistance can occur from non-adopters in the form of passive resistance (such as a disinterest in the product) or in the form of active resistance (such as a refusal to use the technology).

There are numerous courses of action that can be taken to fight this resistance. Educating potential buyers about the benefits of the new technology is a key strategy to gaining more adopters of the technology. Demonstrations by well-trained and knowledgeable personnel also leave very good impressions on a target market. Sometimes resistance signals that there is indeed a significant flaw in the product, so a re-design is necessary. Modifications of a current product also may attract more adopters.

Laff, Michael. "ROOTS of INNOVATION." T+D 63.7 (2009): 34-39. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.

This article argues that, contrary to popular belief, innovation is not actually about someone’s “occasional spark of brilliance”. Rather, innovation is about filling a need for a product and identifying with markets and customers. Innovation doesn’t always have to be on the cutting edge of modern technology; it can be merely existing technology that is repackaged so that consumers can readily see its benefits. “Innovation is not about creating something new. It’s about taking something that exists and aligning it with the market’s needs,” says the author of The Innovation Zone. Products must be created for a market, and if they are not successful, they must be adapted to consumers further.

The article clearly differentiates between invention and innovation. Invention is the act of “creating something that did not exist”, whereas innovation is putting inventions to work in the real world. Industry leaders are generally not the first to discover something. Their success lies in their ability to refine a product better than other companies. The article cites Apple’s iPod, as well as the Google search engine, as particularly good examples of this. Those products were not the first of their type, but the companies that marketed them refined the product to the point that consumers became very interested in them.

Consumer interest, then, is key to the success of innovating. The article discusses examples of corporations that have found ways to connect with consumers. One example is Red Bull, which sent representatives to bars to encourage consumers to sample their product. Finding a way to interact with potential customers is crucial to the real-world success of an idea.


Nadya Spice


From these files and links I noted the ideas that successful innovators create their own demand. They see what their competitors are creating and go above and beyond what any consumer could have dreamed of. Of course, they do so in a cost effective manner. In the pdf file provided above ("Value Innovation") the authors discuss a movie theater in Belgium, Kinepolis, that took control of its industry in a single shot (103). Instead of choosing the location of the theater to be the assumed most convenient spot for the consumers, downtown in a city-like atmosphere, the company went a short drive outside of the city, where they could

  1. provide a plethora of free parking
  2. buy cheaper property, in turn reducing the cost the consumer will have to pay
  3. have more room to build, providing larger theaters, more seating, more leg room, and larger screen size (104)

In the end, Kinepolis became the most popular theater in Belgium, even though the movie theater industry had been steadily declining for 28 years (103).

About the authors:
W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne are Co-DIrectors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. A "blue ocean strategy" involves creating new demand. Instead of competing head-on with other companies and businesses, this strategy tells these companies to consider their rivals no longer relevant to their respective industries and create new demand. Instead of "fighting their rivals head-on in a bloody 'red ocean' over a shrinking pool of profit...break away from the competition and create their own blue ocean" (Speakers of Substance). W. Chan Kim


Maggie Castle


Amabile, Teresa. (1999) How to Kill Creativity. Retrieved from Google Scholar

This article talks a lot about business creativity and innovation but can be adapted to be viewed as creativity and innovation within a group setting. The basic idea of innovation is being creative and looking at problems in a different way instead of following whats been done before. It talks about the three components of innovation which are expertise, creative-thinking skills and motivation. Expertise is about focused knowledge in a specific area and having different people focus on different areas so that the group as a whole can have deep knowledge of all aspects of the problem. Each persons expertise should be carefully thought out based upon their personality and what they are most interested in because this effects the motivation factor. Creative thinking is about how you approach the problem and the solution and how you put everyones ideas together in different combinations. It also involves being able to set aside difficult problems temporarily and work on something else so when you come back to the problem you look at it with a new perspective which can help foster creativity. The last one is motivation. There are two types of motivation which are extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from something beside the person themselves. This could be another person, money, fear of failure. This kind usually hurts creativity. Intrinsic motivation comes from someone’s passion and interest which help create creativity and motivate someone to keep learning and do their best. One example of motivation effecting innovation which I really liked was the maze. If someone wanted to get through a maze for the purpose of getting a prize or winning a race they might look for the most beaten path and take that one because they will most likely finish the fastest. But is someone focuses more on challenging and exploring the maze and making it fun and intriguing than their journey might take longer but the final solution will be more interesting and more innovative. A few aspects that they briefly talked about that help create innovation are freedom, challenge, resources, work-groups, supervisory encouragement, and organizational support all which I feel this project incorporates.



Destler, Bill. (2007). President Destler's Opening Address to the RIT Community. Retrieved from www.rit.edu
I read President Destler’s Opening Address to the RIT Community in the fall of 2007. I choose to research here because we are after all a part of the RIT community and want to strive to be what President Destler’s calls a category of one university and an innovation university so listening to what he described innovation as is important. He described innovation as encouraging creative development in a different way than whats been done before. He hopes that students participate new projects that look at learning and inventing from a different angle and make ourselves different than others through how we learn, teach, and create. President Destler talks about how the left brains and right brains collide here at RIT and that helps foster innovation because it allows people with all areas of expertise and interest to work together which will automatically make the problem solving approach be looked at from so many angles. Innovation is about making your own solution to a problem. In the innovation news it talks about students who are already doing their own thing with education. One undergraduate, Samantha Wenitsky, is already a published author. There is a group of students working together to complete a large film project. In the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Lab, carbon fiber strings are being produced, and robotics and pressure printing are being researched. All these projects are being worked on by undergraduate students which just alone is something unique from most other undergraduate universities.


Sam Valerio


The term innovation, according to Brianna Sylver of Bloomberg Businessweek, simply means “introducing something new.” However, since innovation is such a broad term, it means different things to different people. But in truth, an innovative idea does not need to be revolutionary, or change the world, it just “needs to be better than what was there before.” This is basically our strategy in our project. HP has already pioneered the technology for PTM's, but we are going beyond the state of the art, and using wavelengths of light outside of the visible spectrum.


This article, using the Apple iPad, iPod, and Nintendo Wii as examples, explains how an innovative product does not have to be a technological shock to the world, but can be "innovation of meaning." This means that it is an idea that can be introduced to the world not because it is needed, but because the conditions are right to introduce it into society. Using those three examples, the article explains how the iPod and the Wii, in their debuts, had a very slow start, and many people criticized them. Today, almost everyone has one of them. Critics of the Apple iPad say it is just a large iPod touch that acts more like a computer but lacking features of one. But optimists believe that while now people are adapting to the new product, that in the next few years, much like the iPod and Wii, will be a favorite item to buy on the market. Our project idea is not very commercial yet, but it is very possible that we could receive such criticisms as viewing objects under different wavelenghts serves little to no purpose, or that this doesn't meet economic needs, it just adds on as a product that is for some companies to use and benefit from, but not ones that are more important to the everyday consumer to buy goods from. Whether these criticisms are justified or not, which I don't believe they would be, our idea is a fantastic one that contributes to modern science and research. It will just take time for people to adapt to, and even understand, the idea behind Polynomial Texture Mapping.

Scarlett Montanaro


This is a study done on team innovation. Innovation is defined as "the intentional introduction and application within a team, of ideas, processes, products or procedure new to the teams, designed to significantly benefit the individual, the team, the organization, or wider society." It's an interactive process between people. The main purpose of this study was to determine what promotes innovation in teams. Having both formal and informal meetings tend to promote more innovation. Also they recommend having both males and females on the team because it helps the innovation process. And the most important factor is to make sure the team has many different opportunities to communicate their ideas and exchange information with the rest of the team.



This is an address by Robert C. Wolcott delivered to The University Club of New York on innovation.

"Innovation is both an art and a science (378)." The science of innovation involves resolving uncertainty from ideas to market through a rational process. However, innovation is also about intuition and passion, which is art. One of the goals of great innovation is to avoid ending up in a "success trap." Many companies, like Sears, GM, Kodak, and Xerox, were at one time the best company in their market, but started struggling or failing. Wolcott says to use innovation to keep your company from falling behind. One way to do this is to make it easy for employees to communicate with each other.