Better v. Different
In a short post last week to his eponymous blog, Seth Godin offers up what I think is a nice little distinction between innovation and ideation. Better is not always better, he says, because sometimes different is what’s really needed.
When you make something that works a little better, you’re playing the same game, just keeping up with the status quo. When you make something different, on the other hand, you’re trying to change the game.
Innovation is of course the incremental improvement or enhancement of something, often deepening a specialized area as a result. Ideation, on the other hand, is less about tinkering and more about leaping, which tends to break out of established or standard ways of doing things.