Innovation ≠ Invention

Quotes and notes from the article by Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham, "Innovation as Language Action", Communications of the ACM, vol. 49, No. 5, 2006.

"How do we know for sure when an innovation has happened? It is simple: We observe that a group or community has adopted a new practice. Spreading ideas is not enough to get people to change their habits. Innovators induce changes of habit by offering and supporting new tools or processes perceived as high value by adopters."

Under this light, Denning and Dunham found in their study that, the "key is to understand innovation as adoption of new practice", and this is different from invention. "Invention means to create something new, but does not require that anyone accept or adopt it."

"Both inventors and innovators start with a possibility.  The inventor turns the possibility into an idea, artifact, patent, or process and proposes that others consider it.  The innovator turns the possibility into an offer for adoption and then follows it through to adoption."