Novel ideas by themselves have no impact on society. It is their implementation that separates invention from innovation.

We were talking “innovation” at work so I thought I would pull out this article. Innovation is such a buzz word it seems, to me at least; it loses its meaning each time it is uttered. But it’s meaning is concrete.

“innovation is more than just the generation of novel ideas or the dissemination of knowledge, it is about making a change or doing something in a new way.”

This distinction is crucial. Novel ideas by themselves have no impact on society. It is their implementation that separates invention from innovation.

In other words, good ideas are not enough. In my day job as Fairfax’s resident mad professor we have a battle cry of “Demo or Die!” which I feel sums up the sentiment accurately. If we can’t demonstrate implementation, then the idea doesn’t have legs.

published in the SMH September 24, 2011: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/innovation/blogs/smoke–mirrors/australia-a-nati…

%d bloggers like this: