What is Radical Innovation?

Radical innovation refers to products or services that redefine the basis of competition in a market or product class. This may happen through the introduction of new to the world technologies or by the recombination of existing technologies or capabilities.

What is an example of radical innovation?

An example of a radical innovation caused by the introduction of technology is the shift from vacuum tubes and mechanical sensors to semiconductors. This transformed consumer electronics making them an order of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and more capable, enabling other radical innovations like mobile phones and personal computers. An example of a shift caused by the recombination of existing capabilities or technologies is the iPhone. The iphone’s component elements all preexisted. The innovation came from the combination of phone, touchscreen, mobile phone network, computer software, and the internet. In combination, they set a new standard for personal communication devices that made the previous generation of mobile phones effectively obsolete.

Why are radical innovations important?

Radical innovation challenges how things get done in an industry, enabling renewal of practices, companies, leaders, and people. It is the energy that propels markets forward and forms the basis of competition.

How is radical innovation different from disruptive innovation?

Disruption is the outcome that comes from successful radical innovation. Though, radical innovation and disruptive innovation are often used interchangeably and so mean effectively the same thing.

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