Do you think what innovation is? Is invention a kind of innovation? Sure it is! Everyone agrees with that invent is a kind of innovation. Is improvement a kind of innovation? Congratulations! You got the right answer. Improvement is also a type of innovation. In my opinion, innovation is not only invention but also improvement.
I cannot say any more about how important of innovation is in current creative age. We have seen a lot of companies failed in the market due to lack of innovation, and also a lot of companies get great progress due to innovation. Several years ago, Apple created iphone. What’s a amazing product that changed market structure and almost made Nokia group crash! How can Apple get this? Innovation! Iphone is an invention, which brought customer into touch screen world, and changed customer user experience of cell phone. Moreover, Apple created APP store, that allow engineer develop software for IOS and gain money. That’s a creative win-win business model.
Apple is a winner in the world, but look around the cell phone market, SAMSUNG has biggest market sharing around the world. Unbelievable! Why SAMSUNG can become the leader in the world? One of reason is also innovation! Apple created iphone, and SAMSUNG improve the iphone into Galaxy, that’s an improvement innovation. One of biggest improvement is the screen. AMOLED screen is developed and introduced into cell phone area by SAMSUNG and make customer has better user experience. That’s the power of improvement innovation to make SAMSUNG as a leader in the cell phone market.
In china, there are a lot of cell phone companies, and their product looks like iphone, but why they cannot compete with Apple or SAMSUNG? One of reason is that they are lack of innovation! You know this is Xiaomi, a famous Chinese brand. All major chipsets inside come from Qualcomm, screen is the cheapest TFT LCD, and the OS is using Android with MIUI. MIUI is developed by Xiaomi itself. The problem is that MIUI is not innovative enough, it just simulate Xiaomi cell phone into Iphone. That’s why customer calls this type of phone as “copy version” (山寨手机).
Overall, history tells us if we have innovation, we may change the world, or lead the market. If the product we designed without innovation, it just becomes a shadow of others.
Most of us believe that innovation is very hard. Actually it’s not, if we can pay attention to following 2 points, we may become an innovative guy.
The first point is “keep eye on what customer want”. As an engineer, what we design aims to satisfy customer requirements. If we don’t know what customer needs, we will become a blind person, and how can we do innovation?
The second point is “keep eye on the development of technology area”. Knowledge is the materials we used to do design, more knowledge, higher probability to do an innovative design.
Those two points are very important for you to be an innovative guy. Most of you guys know I came from Dieshiqiao (叠石桥), a famous countryside. 30 years ago, in my hometown, some people became millionaire due to brave enough. Several years ago, a few of people made their company bigger and bigger due to innovative enough. Do you want to be a rich man? If you want, come on! To be innovative!