I had a lightning talk for Devops Days Portland called “TikTalk” about innovation. Please go watch it because it was a lot of fun to make.
Innovation comes in different forms; there are sustaining innovations and disruptive innovations. Most companies need people who can help sustain their innovations. They need to be better, faster, and stronger than they were.
Disruptive innovations are the things that build new businesses—typically by destroying old ones. It can come from new technologies or new abilities. The difference between sustaining and disruptive innovations is in the customers.
Sustaining innovations will grow markets because they’ll meet the needs of ever demanding customers. It’ll grow because it’s finally good enough.
Disruptive innovations will create new customers because it will let non-consumers do something they couldn’t before. Maybe the old thing required special skills or they couldn’t do something in a certain setting. It’ll grow because the consumers are good enough.
If you want to learn more I suggest you read The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business and Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change.