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03 Apr 10 Innovation or improvement?

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What is the biggest nightmare that an entrepreneur has every night when he goes to sleep—fear of failure, fear of not having enough funds, fear of dying hungry, or what?

It is fear of getting the idea stolen. Yes, fear of idea theft is what keep entrepreneur awake at night. These days no one much care about the capital as much as one care about idea, because the latter is scarcer than the former. And our economy is based on nothing but breakthrough idea.

Do it better or do it different?

These are the two different aspects of a coin. “Doing it better” will fetch us incremental benefits, but “doing it different” will lead us to entirely new future.

“Doing it better” is what developing and undeveloped countries are after, and “doing it different” is the goal that entrepreneurs in a developed country chase. That is why major breakthroughs come from developed country.

You can say that “doing it better” will at best get incremental technology; for example, a more energy-efficient air conditioner, better soap, good shoe at less price, etc. But “doing it different” will get us disruptive technology—the technology that ends the previous ones while giving birth to entirely new industry. For example, instead of making better typewriters and calculators, computer was invented; instead of making faster and faster main frame computers, PC was invented.

All innovations are disruptive in nature, and it is the innovation that keeps the ball in the developed economy rolling.

Which one is better?


Both of them have different use in our lives, and both of them are important. There are times when we need a better product, and there are times when we need a new solution to the same problem.

Innovation is important, but so is improvement.

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