In a previous article, I wrote about how the method of innovation has evolved over the past century. In a three part series I will briefly write about my favorite milestones in this journey. These milestones are not necessarily the first occurrences but they are more representative of how the method of innovation has evolved. In many cases the milestone would have catalyzed what was to happen in future. This article is the first of the three parts. You can also check part-2 and part-3.
· Edison’s invention factory (1876): Thomas Edison founded “Invention Factory” in
· Kodak’s brand innovation (1888): In 1880s various companies realized branding as an important lever of innovation especially in selling products to masses. George Eastman was one of them and I wrote earlier about his famous ad campaign: You press the button, we do the rest. Other brands like Coca Cola emerged during the same time.
· NCR’s suggestion
· S-curve and idea adoption (1898): French sociologist Gabriel Tarde (1843-1904) studied sociology just like chemistry – based on small psychological interactions among individuals, the fundamental forces being invention, imitation and opposition. He pointed out that communication and collaboration catalyze idea adoption. Tarde is today considered the father of innovation diffusion as a discipline. It would be another half a century before diffusion of innovation would be studied in hybrid seed corns in
· GE’s corporate research lab (1900): General Electric, a company founded on the legacy of two great innovators, Thomas Edison and Elihu Thomson, created its corporate research lab in 1900 in
· Continuous improvement at Ford (1913): Henry Ford and his team at