According to Eric Ries of the Lean Startup the difference between a small business and a startup is innovation. A small business executes on an existing model and a startup creates a new one. So what is innovation?
“Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs.” – Wikipedia
A new restaurant can be innovative in it is marketing or styling’s. A cheese company might age their cheese a bit differently than its competitors. It might do things in a distinctive way that is innovative. However, compared to Facebook it seems these businesses are a bit less innovative. Restaurants and cheese have been part of the human fabric for hundreds of years and Facebook has been around about ten.
So what is innovation and does your business have it? This question is based on a false premise. It is not a question about the existence of innovation, rather the questions is about the degree. We should be asking, “How much innovation does you business have?” or ”How can your business be more innovative in its space?”
In general there are two kids of innovation, disruptive innovation and incremental innovation. Incremental innovation is the improvement of an existing system. It is an innovative way to make something that exists better. Disruptive innovation is a new system that completely replaces an old one. Stay tuned for to find out more about the differences between incremental innovations and disruptive innovation in a future blog post.
About the Author
Steve Anderson is an entrepreneur who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently he is the CEO of Snapifeye. In addition, he is the Founder of Laylines Consulting and previously worked at a San Francisco based consulting company. Steve has a masters degree from the Wisconsin School of Business and was the winner of Startup Weekend Madison