When Innovation Matters

 

Innovation in and of itself is great. I think most would agree that from baby steps to big steps, any use of technology or new frameworks for operations/products are important. However, I would argue that it's not until people (let's call it a critical mass) actually use and find benefit in innovation that it truly matters. Friendster and even Myspace were great mechanisms for building a social community but they didn't provide the widespread network needed to foster change. Similarly, Orkut (a Google product) never caught on with Americans.

 For some reason, Brazilians use Orkut more than any other nation (59.1% of users are from Brazil) even though Google has moved on to Google+. Similarly, there were several small steps that made the iPad/iPhone possible. Tablets weren't anything new in 2010, but Apple (okay, Steve) found a way to revolutionize how we use them. He paved the way with an app store, eager consumers/developers, and a sync system that made it all easy. Then, once 15 million consumers opened their wallets, the ocean parted. We now have an incredibly useful device that makes communication, content aggregation, and gaming easier and more fun. It's that 'tipping point' moment when a product  catches on and moves the needle from interesting, to game changing. Lesson? Creating great products is important. But you need to convince execs, VCs, and consumers that what you thought up is valuable and worthy of your time and money.