Viewpoint: 5 innovation myths that slow progress

Though there is not one standard definition of innovation, many innovators share a similar set of beliefs and principles regarding their approaches to developing new products, techniques and solutions.

In some cases, according to Andrew Thomas, co-founder of smart home company SkyBell Technologies, where he has contributed to more than 30 patents, these beliefs are not only misguided, but can also make innovation much more difficult than it needs to be. In an op-ed for Inc., he described five innovation myths that, if taken as truth, can hinder progress.

1. "Innovation is the product team's job": Though product designers, engineers, and developers are undoubtedly crucial to innovation, ideas for new solutions can come from any area of an organization, and the overarching vision must originate from the C-suite.

2. "Innovations sell themselves": A well-rounded marketing and brand-building strategy is necessary to ensure an innovation's intended audience actually knows it exists and is the right choice for them.

3. "Customers will tell you how to innovate": While innovation should certainly be driven with consumers' needs in mind, it is up to the innovators to foresee how new technologies and techniques can meet those needs even more efficiently.

4. "Innovation requires flashy technologies": Innovation does not necessarily translate into advanced technology; even an entirely non-tech solution can be innovative if it solves a problem better than traditional methods.

5. "Innovation means shooting for the moon": So-called moonshot inventions can cause society and technology to progress at rapid rates, but aiming for more achievable goals — though still highly ambitious — is still plenty valuable.

More articles on innovation:
New Northwestern center will study the science of scientific innovation
Why University Hospitals launched an investment arm and how it plans to disrupt in the future
Molina Healthcare of Washington launches $3M innovation fund

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