Question I: “Innovation is the same as technological advances. ” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use course readings and at least two case examples to support you answer. Innovation is a set of processes that start with an invention. When the invention proceeds further towards development it results in a new product or a service ready for introduction in the relevant market (Edwards and Gordon, 1984). On the other hand, technological advancement is the further development on a previously existing technology. It can be said that the core concept on which technology can be founded is introduced by innovation.
History is replete with facts that have highlighted the power of innovative mind to trigger inquisitiveness that have led to technological advancements. To say that innovation is the same as technological advancement would not be a correct relationship since the former drives the latter. Both are independent of each other and yet both are interdependent. Innovation is how a thing is done, how an idea is germinated and how it is implemented; technology - both in social and physical worlds - involves practical application of science.
What precedes technology is innovation. Innovation is an idea which finds practical application in or through technology. When the two combine, it normally results in a technological advancement. The two words are intertwined with each other, and it is also seen that one can give rise to another - even a technological advancement can lead to an innovation. If technology is put to a traditional use differently, it can give rise to an innovation. But here that shifts the context of question altogether so can be left there.
Innovation has the capability to drive new markets; higher the understanding of processes and demands from the market, better will be innovations. Innovations can create new opportunities which are affordable, easier, quicker and safer. Technological advancements act as carriers to such innovations and thus result in widespread and far-off dissemination of the innovation (Sull, Gossi & Escobari, 2003). In order to establish the relationship between innovation and technological advancement further, the case of telephone can be taken. Telephone is normally related to Alexander Graham Bell, who is said to have "invented" it.
Innocenzo Manzetti, the first person to have given the "idea" of any such instrument that will help two people talk long distance goes often unmentioned. Soon after Manzetti mooted this idea, both entrepreneurs and scientists got to work on it until after 30 years Bell gave the world what is now known as his invention. Clearly innovation was followed by technology. Further technological advancements saw this invention take different forms through more than a century and a half until a time when cell phones replaced landline telephones.
The rapidity with which cellular technology is now advancing, another 30 years later the world might be using what could be in just the concept mode only as of now. Innovative ideas when followed by technological knowhow and advancement turn concepts into realities. More often than not innovation and technology are used together. This is truer when competitive advantage is discussed. So as not to muddle the meanings of both it is advantageous to understand that they complement each other. Rawness of an innovative idea is put to finer use by the advancement of technology.
However, it is wrong to presume that if there is no idea, there would be no technological advancement. Sometimes it is the technology itself that leads and even gives rise to new ideas. As said above, both even though independent of each other are interdependent in their application. Brilliant innovators always have technology in mind when they start thinking of new innovations. The iPhone series by Apple is one such recent development in the scientific world that has led us to believe that there are infinite possibilities to a small, finite idea.
For example, iPhone 5 is packed up such features as gesture based controls and wireless charging, and those would, a few years before, have been just a figment of imagination of scientists at Apple.