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2.2.1 Define invention and innovation.
Not all companies that come up with great inventions are good innovators, take Xerox's PARC research centre for example, they invented personal computers and the GUI interface long before Apple Inc. In fact Apple bought the GUI from them and made into what it is today! The Xerox star.
2.2.2 Outline the stages of innovation.
Developing an idea into a viable product; its production; marketing and sales; followed by redesign; and the cycle or spiral continues.
"There are millions of ideas around the world at any time. Some of them have the potential to be viable; more have the potential to be viable but do not have the people behind them who can make it happen. So an idea has to be developed before it becomes an innovation."
"The first stage of the innovation process is the development of an idea into a concept that has the demonstrated potential to be commercially feasible. The idea must be fleshed out to the point where technical, financial and management considerations have been incorporated into the concept, so that the practical application of the concept can be clearly plotted."
The second stage is the production, where the product is manufactured or manufacturing begins.
The Third stage is marketing and sales, "a primary activity associated with pre-sales tasks. Activities within marketing and sales often include: sales management; selling; market research activities; technical literature development (such as user guides and brochures); customer focus groups; convention activities, and more."
The fourth stage is redesign: reasons for .... develop products that better meet customer needs, make it easier to manufacture, availability and cost of materials, improve safety, more user friendly, shelf or product life, improve properties, changing or different markets, distribution - packaging, weight, green design and clean technologies and recycling issues
Finally, once the product/concept has gone through redesign the cycle/spiral begins all over again until the product becomes mature or obsolete.
2.2.3 Discuss the importance of science to invention and innovation.
Science explains how the world is.
The importance of science to invention and innovation is evidently unquestionable. Most delelopments we produce in the field of Design are attributed to scientific breakthroughs, which in turn allow the designer to produce these advancements. Science is a vital aspect of any design project taking place within a classroom, to NIKE shoe factories. It is the aspect that allows us designers to distinguish between the better materials, shapes, sizes and various other factors that come to consideration when we come to developing a project.
2.2.4 Discuss the importance of technology to invention and innovation.
Technology uncovers new possibilities for materials, manufacturing techniques and processes.
Advances in technology aids invention and innovation which leads to new or cheaper products through advances in materials, manufacturing techniques, and processes. Moreover, the advance in technology improves product quality. The Internet and mobile phone are emerging communication technologies which were non-existent thirty years ago. Due to the increased scientific research, there has been an exponential increase in the advancement of technology recently.
2.2.5 Explain why the majority of inventions fail to become innovations.
Consider marketability, financial support, marketing, the need for the invention, price, resistance to change, and aversion to risk.
The need for the invention
Resistance to change
Aversion to risk
Being successful at innovation ...
2.2.6 Explain the relevance of design to innovation.
For continued innovations (re-innovation), products and processes are constantly updated (redesigned) to make them more commercially viable and to give consumers choice and improved products.
Design is vital to innovation due to innovation being the key to developing products and services. Design-led innovation allows the organisation to focus on the customer as a strategy for development and a collaborator in mutual service innovation.
By pertaining design-led innovation to both the organisations and the services the business provides, the firm accommodates change, thus becoming consumer-oriented in a well-organised, active, and successful way. As the UK Minister for Innovation Ian Pearson stated “The contribution of design to innovation hasn’t been emphasised enough until now, but user-led innovation always clearly demonstrated the importance of design in developing new products, processes, and new ways of working.”
2.2.7 Define dominant design, diffusion into the marketplace, market pull and technology push.
2.2.8 Describe a design context where dominant design is relevant.
For example, ballpoint pen (Biro), Apple® iPod®, Coca-Cola®.
It is a concept identifying key features in designs that become a traditional standard in the market place. Dominant designs don't necessarily have to be better than other designs found on the market, however they will provide a minimum required set of important and basic features. Definition of dominant designs according to Webster's Dictionary: A standard, which becomes generally accepted after a period of rapid technological change
The “QWERTY” keyboard layout was specifically designed (to make people inefficient)to replace the flaws of the mechanical typewriter by changing the order of the letters on the keyboard. Now it is recognised as well used worldwide and preferred over the more logical and formal keyboard layouts. By the way, did you know that you can type faster one handed than on a QWERTY keyboard.
In the table are other examples of a dominant design:
2.2.9 Explain the difficulties of getting a product to diffuse into the marketplace.
Consider local, national and global competition. The problems of getting novel products to market include product launches and marketing.
Mindtools on the stages of diffusion into the market.
Local, national and global competition.
Marketing is the process of promoting and selling products. Marketing includes advertising, distribution and selling of a product.
For a company to be completely innovative, they need to inspire the staff; the ability to create innovative products; and the ability to connect with the market.
2.2.10 Explain why it is difficult to determine whether market pull or technology push is the impetus for the design of new products.
Push and pull are present in most successful innovations. The explanation should apply only to the origin of the idea or where the idea seems to have been generated.
Scientific innovation has two different paths:
“Technology” Push approaches:
“Market” Pull approaches:
Technology risk is how uncertain we are about finding a solution. Market risk is how uncertain we are about finding an application.
Technology advances often occur some time before the market knows about them. So when the new products with the new tech hits the market, the line between market pull vs. technology push is blurred.
2.2.11 Define lone inventor.
2.2.12 Discuss why it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a successful lone inventor.
Most products are now extremely complex and rely on expertise from various disciplines. Most designs are developed by multidisciplinary teams.
2.2.13 Explain why lone inventors often find it difficult to work in the design departments of large companies.
They are often used to setting their own targets rather than working as members of teams. They can be dogmatic in their methodology and less flexible than team workers.
2.2.14 Define product champion.
A person who takes an excessive interest in seeing that a particular process or product is fully developed and marketed A product champion can bring both expertise and enthusiasm to the project. (In small business environments, this product champion will often be the entrepreneur/owner himself.) A strong product champion will be able to balance all the issues associated with a product—economic factors, performance requirements, regulatory issues, management issues, and more—and create a winning new product. The product champion also has to guide the project through a predetermined series of viability tests—checkpoints in the development process at which a company evaluates a new product to determine if the product should proceed to the next development stage.
The product champion has to guide the project through a predetermined series of viability tests—checkpoints in the development process at which a company evaluates a new product to determine if the product should proceed to the next development stage. If it is determined that the market has shifted, or technology has changed, or the project has become too expensive, then the product must be killed, no matter how much money has already been poured into it. This is where a strong product champion makes the difference—he or she has to have the honesty and authority to make the call to kill the product and convey the reasons for that decision to the product development team. If goals were clearly defined, resources properly allocated, and leadership was strong, then the decision to kill a project should not be a difficult one.
Profile of a Product Champion
2.2.15 Compare the lone inventor with the product champion.
The lone inventor may lack the business acumen to push the invention through to innovation. The product champion is often a forceful personality with much influence in a company. He or she is more astute at being able to push the idea forward through the various business channels and is often able to consider the merits of the invention more objectively.
2.2.16 Explain why innovators may have difficulty in obtaining financial support for an invention.
Most people with money to invest will be inclined to wait until it is clearer whether an invention is going to be successful before investing: the problem is to get them to take the risk.
Bulleted list and italicised paragraphs are excerpted from Design Technology: guide. Cardiff Wales, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2007.
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