Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Innovation, disruptive innovation and market volatility 37: innovative business development and the tools that drive it 7

Posted in business and convergent technologies, macroeconomics by Timothy Platt on November 24, 2017

This is my 37th posting to a series on the economics of innovation, and on how change and innovation can be defined and analyzed in economic and related risk management terms (see Macroeconomics and Business, posting 173 and loosely following for Parts 1-5 and Macroeconomics and Business 2, posting 203 and loosely following for Parts 6-36.)

I have been systematically working my way through a to-address list of topics points in recent installments to this series, that I repeat here for purposes of continuity. (Note that I append reference links to the ends of the points on this list that I have already addressed, indicating where I did so):

1. Innovation and its realization are information and knowledge driven (Part 32).
2. And the availability and effective use of raw information and of more processed knowledge developed from it, coupled with an ability to look beyond the usual blinders of how that information and knowledge would be more routinely viewed and understood, to see wider possibilities inherent in it (Part 33),
3. Make innovation and its practical realization possible and actively drive them (Part 34, Part 35 and Part 36).
4. Information availability serves as an innovation driver, and business systems friction and the resistance to enabling and using available business intelligence that that creates, significantly set the boundaries that would distinguish between innovation per se and disruptively novel innovation as it would be perceived and understood
5. And in both the likelihood and opportunity for achieving the later, and for determining the likelihood of a true disruptive innovation being developed and refined to value creating fruition if one is attempted.

And I turn here to consider Point 4 of that list. But before I do so, I want to at least briefly address a point that I have left hanging from the end of Part 36 as I finished up its discussion of Point 3: my promise to provide references regarding research financing here. I would at least begin that by offering two series that I have included in this blog, both appearing in my Macroeconomics and Business directory with its Page 2 continuation:

• Considering a Cost and Benefits Analysis of Innovation (that directory, postings 137 and loosely following for its Parts 1-9) and
• Building for an Effective Portfolio of Marketable Offerings (that directory, postings 196 and loosely following for its Parts 1-6.)

The first of these references takes a perhaps-more macroeconomics view of that topic than would be called for here and the second addresses it as one facet of a more widely inclusive discussion, though it does directly address the core issues that I simply allude to here in this series for developing and building a more balanced research portfolio per se. I am going to turn back to the issues of research financing in this series after addressing Point 5 of the above list, to at least begin to fill in what I now see as real gaps in my coverage of research financing and related matters per se.

With that stated, I turn here to more specifically address Point 4 from above. And I begin that by stating a point that should be completely obvious in the abstract, but that can become obscured in the specific context:

• Innovation offers perceivable value because it addresses what have been unmet, or at least inadequately met needs, and more effectively and/or cost effectively than anything already routinely available could. And knowing what to innovatively develop and how, on the developing and producing side to that, and knowing when a proffered new development would meet such needs on the marketplace and consumer side, are all about information development and availability, and communications (e.g. marketing, and ultimately on the within-business development and production side to this, as much as on the market and consumer facing side to it.)

If this bullet point and its issues hold for more routine incremental innovation per se, where in most cases all involved parties have a preparatory background for what is to come next from its already being at least somewhat familiar, it becomes much more pressing and more difficult to achieve when the innovation involved is disruptively new and novel and no one starts out with any basis of familiarity to help them think about it and address it.

A disruptively new and novel innovation might if really successful, become a new essential and a source of products that will become taken for granted as such. And to follow up on that, the tools and resources that we most fully take for granted, mostly all began as disruptively novel offerings and ones that only sufficiently wealthy early and pioneer adaptors would buy into – even as people in general come with time to take them for granted. Consider the electric light, the refrigerator, the automobile and telephone, or the cell phone for its more modern disruptive innovation if you will. I could, of course added to this list and in an essentially open-ended manner, but will only cite two more examples here that are particularly relevant to this series and its discussion here: personal computers and their smaller and more portable versions: laptops computers, tablets and the like, and the internet and the wirelessly connected, anywhere to anywhere internet in particular.

In their beginnings these initial disruptive innovations and the progression of step by step follow-up innovations that arose from them, all started out as unknowns to the general public. And it took time for them to become embraced as so basic to all of our lives that most all of us cannot readily imagine what our lives would be like without them. But their early and initial acceptance and use depended essentially entirely on effective information availability and sharing: first in the beachhead acceptance of pioneer and early adaptors, and then with waves of differently focused and framed messages, to progressively later and later adaptors – until even the late and last of them had adopted these changes too.

• And this information and its communication, shaped by and towards whatever adaption curve audience would be brought in next, had to both convincingly offer a case for buying into a given change, and convincingly explain what that change even is, as a source of potential value to a potential innovation adaptor.

With that noted for background purposes, I am going to more directly address Point 4 and then continue on to discuss Point 5 of the above list in my next series installment. And then as promised above, I will reconsider the issues of research financing: there, in large part from a more accounting and bookkeeping perspective. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at Macroeconomics and Business and its Page 2 continuation. And see also Ubiquitous Computing and Communications – everywhere all the time and its Page 2 continuation.

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