Column: the evolution of different types of innovation over time and a novelty in the ecosystem

From 2018, the Oslo Manual proposed that innovation be identified and measured in two large groups and eight subdivisions

If Joseph Schumpeter is known as one of the leading scholars of innovation, who inserted this concept in the world of economics and, in 1934, proposed the existence of five types of innovation (products, processes, market, raw material and organizational), Keith Pavitt it is notorious for bringing innovation to the context of management.

The types of innovation

Currently, we live in the Information and Communication era, which started with the wave of PCs, passing through the Internet and which today has evolved to the predominance of mobile and innovation based on digital platforms. Specifically, in the last ten years, we have seen (and dominate the main world exchanges in market value) businesses based on platforms , or business platforms , such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, to name the main ones, in addition to hundreds of emerging unicorns , of which more than 60% have business models based on platforms.

1. Sustainable innovation versus disruptive innovation (Christensen, 1997)

Whether innovation aims to sustain the current business model or break with it — not necessarily with a better or more expensive product or service — but for a business model more adapted to a larger user base, attracting “non-customers”.

2. Configuration, offer and experience innovation (Kelley, 1998)

A set of innovation approaches that must be combined to produce high impact. Configuration innovations are more focused on the inner workings of a company and its business system. Offering products, on the other hand, focus on a company’s main product or service, or a collection of its products and services. And the experience ones are more focused on elements focused on a company’s customer and its business system.

3. Open innovation versus closed innovation (Chesbrough, 2003)

If the innovation process is closed or if companies are open to greater interdependence with external actors to innovate.

4. Incremental innovation versus radical innovation

Whether innovation is carried out in incremental accumulations or if it is radical leaps, generally supported by new scientific discoveries or technological developments, but which do not necessarily change the business model or the customer base.

Agile methodologies in platform innovation

Currently, innovation has been increasingly recognized as the result of the interdependence of ecosystems and, as we saw earlier, of their orchestration via platforms. Among the types described above, which gives greater focus to this approach is the open innovation , or open innovation , and why it has become so popular among medium and large enterprises.

This set of factors has made the management of innovation ecosystems emerge as a new typology in this context of digital platforms, and this is the great transformation we are experiencing today: innovation, increasingly recognized as the result of the interdependence of ecosystems and their orchestration via platforms.