Making it better is the real key to innovation

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A quick one on innovation.

I personally consider innovation as the process to make things better, not newer. And by that I mean listening to people and try to solve their problems, thus giving them better products and better services, improving what’s already existing in a way others didn’t think.

Three of the most successful companies in the world built and made stand out their businesses around the simple idea of improvement, rather than invention.
For Apple, Facebook or Google being second (or a late comer) turned out to be more valuable than being first.
As a matter of facts, Apple did not invent MP3 players; but today when we think of a portable device for listening music we think iPod.
Facebook in 2005 did not invent social networks (Six degrees 1997, Hot or Not 1999, Friendster 2002 and LinkedIn 2003 were already online), but it became the largest community on the planet; when we talk social we have to begin with Facebook.
AltaVista and Yahoo were the 2 biggest search engine in the ’90s, the ancestors of what today is The Search Engine: Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin did not “invent” the search engine, but made it better.

The point is: it’s not necessary to invent new things to be different, sometimes finding better ways to solve people’s problems (improvement) is the right path to succeed in business.

What about you? Do you think innovation is driven by improvement or invention?
I’d be happy to know your opinion.

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