The Entrepreneurship Campus is an activity within the framework of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Do You Know the Difference between Innovations and Inventions?

Entrepreneurship Campus

We all have been there. Suddenly you come up with a good idea that seems to have the potential for business and start to elaborate more on how to develop it until somebody, including yourself, says: Yeah, this sounds good, but it has already been done a hundred times.
When this happens, you just hold it, because you need to know the difference between inventions and innovations.
“Invention and innovation appear to be closely related. Many people believe there must be an invention at the beginning of every entrepreneurial success story. “The rest” is then merely a question of “implementation.” This approach may seem plausible, but it’s highly dangerous,” Guenter Faltin says on his book Brains versus Capital.

Here comes the case of the team that invented the World Wide Web. Web pioneer and entrepreneur Jean-François Groff answered to the following question:

Anything that I am developing today has been done a million times in various ways. What was the inspiration to start working on the WWW standard? Was there a lot of prior work to build on or was it all from scratch.

Here’s his answer: Do not worry about stuff having been done a million times already. The Web was considered primitive junk by hypertext experts; we got rejected from the Hypertext 1991 conference. Whatever you’re working on, if it solves a real problem that has frustrated you, it’s useful. Great inventions like the web are only obvious in hindsight.

This means that there’s always room for innovating what already exists. Think about the refrigerator. Some say that’s one of the greatest inventions. At the same time, the old refrigerators had a huge impact on the depletion of the Ozone layer. Thus, numerous companies tried to remake the same product in a more innovative way that does not cause additional problems.

“The number of inventors who never managed to implement practical applications because some detail or other was overlooked, or whose invention was successfully implemented by someone else, is legion,” Faltin explains in Brains versus Capital.

If you take a look around there are so many products or processes that can be improved through a more innovative approach. Anyone can start an innovative idea if there’s enough motivation and need to make a change. Use knowledge on your advantage and if you need to learn more, take our free online training. All the content of our lessons is from Brains versus Capital.

Afterward, you can implement the acquired skills or teach them to other people that have no access to technology or internet connection. If you need to test yourself as an innovative thinker and maybe future entrepreneur, join our competitions. Submit your innovative ideas and projects and get a taste of the entrepreneurial life.  Keep in mind that with the right skills and a little creativity you can try to innovate everywhere.

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  1. Wow, what a greet enlightenment!

  2. Evaiwe Onoriede

    04.05.2019 · Reply

    I think I have known the difference a little, but this explanation just closed on the little confusion I have about both term.

  3. Thanks. It’s up to us to improve our knowledge and how we do the things.

  4. Very resourceful and important knowledge

  5. Nice read, very illuminating.

  6. the world is changing at a supersonic speed, it needs new brains to come up with inventions and innovations that are going to completely change the face of the world and solve current and future problems.

  7. Innovation is what turns what appears useless and a waste superficially into something so new that if you are not keen enough you may not trace it back to the useless source.

  8. Very understanding but still needs a little more working n push to improve n develop a little more

  9. Do vote for my idea guys “THE PITCHING APP” on my name
    2.view my profile and read about my idea drop comments.
    3. Vote for me guys.

  10. I learn every day thank you very much for this very enriching information

  11. Thank you for this powerful lesson.

  12. Great article. After reading through this informative and educative article, I remembered what kept us going at Insightful Edutech, in our organisation we see and define INNOVATION in three different ways. To us we believe that innovation can either be a:

    1. Solutions that meet new needs
    2. Solutions that meet needs, which people have not articulated
    3. Solutions that meet existing needs in new ways.

    Apparently, our project falls under category 3 which says, solutions that meet existing needs in a new ways through the use of technology to help students to make the right career options using their skills, passion, strength and expertise and this also involve connecting them to myriad youth educational opportunities across the world.

  13. Awesome course. I think there is a clear distinction between empowering and enabling technologies.

  14. In its purest sense, “invention“ can be defined as the creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time. “Innovation,” on the other hand, occurs if someone improves on or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service.
    Ioannis Emmanouil Kosmadakis
    Founder & Chief Troublemaker of “fisea – Book your fishing holidays”

  15. Given the choice to invent or innovate, most entrepreneurs would take the latter. Let’s face it, innovation is just sexier. Perhaps there are a few engineers at M.I.T. who can name the members of “Project Chess.” Virtually everyone on the planet knows who Steve Jobs is.

    But innovation alone isn’t enough. Too often, companies focus on a technology instead of the customer’s problem. But in order to truly turn a great idea into a world-changing innovation, other factors must be taken into account.

    According to Venkatakrishnan Balasubramanian, a research analyst with Infosys Labs, the key to ensuring that innovation is successful is aligning your idea with the strategic objectives and business models of your organization.

    Ioannis Emmanouil Kosmadakis
    Founder & Chief Troublemaker of “fisea – Book your fishing holidays”

  16. If ever there were a poster child for innovation it would be former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. And when people talk about innovation, Jobs’ iPod is cited as an example of innovation at its best.

  17. Innovative ideas come from observation and new connections… nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed!!!

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Timeline 2019

March 18, 2019
Competition launch.
Entries are welcomed
May 15, 2019
Voting & commenting begins for all
July 31, 2019
Deadlines for entries
August 31, 2019
Deadlines for votes & comments
September 5, 2019
10 finalists announced in both categories
September 5, 2019
People’s Choice Prize winners announced
September 15, 2019
Deadline for receipt of videos from finalists in both
October 5, 2019
Deadline for Panel of Judges’ selection of the winners
October 19, 2019
Winners announced at Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin

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