Incremental “Innovation”

Last year I blogged about a lot of the stuff that I blog about on here in the form of Facebook notes.  Unfortunately, my Facebook friends being mostly friends from real life, etc., some of this tech stuff just isn’t their thing, so it’d be better to post that stuff here or on YouTube.  🙂

One of the things I had a regular series on was what I call Incremental “Innovation.”  To me, innovation requires that something be a jaw-dropper that makes people think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  There are things in this world that are groundbreaking and change how we live and whatnot, but then there’s the phoneys.  😛  Yeah, those overhyped things folks try to sell that are plugged as being innovative but really only improve a little on something that already exists.  Myself being a longtime enemy of sleazeball marketing types who try to sell stuff based on things consumers don’t know, I considered it nothing less than the right thing to do to call these things out so people who don’t follow this stuff on a regular basis don’t end up getting suckered by it.  🙂

Recently, Ars Technica posted an article about “forgotten tech” about things like BeOS, Zip Drives, etc.  The authors try to come up with reasons why these products failed, but I think the big reason is that they really weren’t much of an improvement over what preceded them – a classic way for a product to end up in the history books before its time.  😛

There’s a term in business called “building a better mousetrap” referring to continuous improvement in things like processes and execution.  There’s nothing wrong with continuous improvement, but it needs to be kept within its proper scope – improvements to what’s already there.  Innovation, on the other hand, is something huge that changes things forever, like finding a whole new way to catch mice that’s better than mousetraps.  🙂  Sometimes an incremental improvement can be innovative, but the real test of whether something is truly innovative is how long it stands the test of time.  Quick flops probably shouldn’t be called innovative in most cases.  😛

In any event, I’m making a new post category for Incremental “Innovation” and each post within this category will highlight a specific item that either was or is being overhyped.  I’ll begin with some things from this Ars article and branch off into other areas afterwards.  Enjoy the reading material.  🙂


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