I read an editorial in FE of 4th May 2011. Here is what it said :

Tatas celebrate some innovations that failed.
Because failure can also birth better innovation.

BECAUSE EINSTEIN did not read till he was 7 years old, his teachers didn’t think much of his mental abilities.
Various editors rejected Gertrude Stein’s poems for 20 years before she found one who was simpático. As for college dropouts, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have done wonders for their reputation. Because these stories are well known, modern culture accepts that an individual’s initial failures don’t preclude later successes.But the same can’t be said in the business context where,say , bankruptcy remains stigmatised as much in Europe as in Asia. 

The US, however, has been a strong outlier. Take the Silicon Valley , where business failure has become more a badge of belonging than exile. In this context, as FE reported yesterday , the Tatas have done a great thing by spreading its innovation awards across ideas that didn’t translate into commercial success. As executive director of Tata Sons R Gopalakrishnan explained, “Failure is not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of a new one, only that sometimes you have to take a new direction.”  

Some companies like the software enterprise Intuit and the pharma player Eli Lilly have actually taken to holding “failure parties”.

 Over the longue durée, it is even more obvious that momentous ideas aren’t always born perfect, complete. What if India’s Independence movement was abandoned after its crushing defeat in 1857?
What if the UK had ditched its experiment with democracy when Charles-I gave it a thrashing or with capitalism when the Luddites challenged it? If capitalism and democracy remain works in progress centuries after they débuted on the world stage, surely we can wait some more for the optimal electric car. A failed angina drug with surprising side-effects is a blockbuster success today; it’s called Viagra.

Really ,we don’t know where cancer’s miracle cure will come from.Let’s be a little patient when experiments don’t immediately pay off.


This reminded me of something I had written earlier on a forum :

What is innovation ?   

Innovation is a subject which has always been very dear to me.I have also discussed the subject of Innovation Management in some of my sessions with MBA students during last one year.

Here is my opinion on this topic: Innovation has been defined by many writers and experts in different ways according to their perceptions. In fact,Innovation Management has now become a hot topic for debates in many B Schools.

There is often a confusion between innovation and invention.An eminent authority, Daniel Scocco clarifies that “invention refers to new concepts or products that derive from individual’s ideas or from scientific research. Innovation, on the other hand, is the commercialization of the invention itself.” Since innovation is also considered a major driver of the economy, especially when it leads to increasing productivity, the factors that lead to innovation are also considered to be critical to our policy makers.

Further,to be successful,innovation has to pass through three stages viz.innovation, invention, translation and commercialization. The most difficult and challenging part is the last stage.

In todays competitive market the ultimate aim of inovation is to develope the ability to deliver new value to customers-be it in banking,or in retail,or in FMCG.

In essence,the focus of innovation management is to allow the organization to response to external or internal opportunity, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products. –

J S BROCA, New Delhi .

To see my comments on the forum’s website,please go to :


In case you have something to share,you are welcome.

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3 Responses to What is INNOVATION ?

  1. Shernaz says:

    Very interesting. Your write-ups, like linking up Hindi movie songs to Osama’s killing are innovative, if you do not commercialise them 🙂

  2. Shernaz says:

    ‘even’ if you don’t…

  3. Thank you for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of info written in such an ideal way?

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