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10 Types of Innovation: The Art of Discovering a Breakthrough Product

The Art of Discovering Breakthrough Products

As venture capitalist Peter Thiel once put it, “competition is for losers”.

It’s inevitable that every company must be out there battling for market share, but you don’t really want to be in a situation where the competition is so stiff that any potential upside is eroded away in the process—―a scenario known as perfect competition in economics.

To avoid perfect competition, companies must strive to build an economic moat that gives them a sustainable competitive advantage over time. While these protective moats can arise from a number of different sources, in today’s information economy they most often arise from the power of innovation.

But where does innovation come from, and is there a universal framework that can be applied to help consistently make big breakthroughs?

The 10 Types of Innovation

In today’s infographic, we showcase the culmination of years of in-depth research from Doblin, an innovation-focused firm now owned by Deloitte.

After examining over 2,000 business innovations throughout history, Doblin uncovered that most breakthroughs don’t necessarily stem from engineering inventions or rare discoveries.

Instead, they observed that innovations can be categorized within a range of 10 distinct dimensions—and anyone can use the resulting strategic framework to analyze the competition, to stress test for product weaknesses, or to find new opportunities for their products.

Here are the 10 types of innovation:

Innovation Type Description

1.Profit Model How you make money

2.Network Connections with others to create value

3.Structure Alignment of your talent and assets

4.Process Signature of superior methods for doing your work

5.Product Performance Distinguishing features and functionality

6.Product System Complementary products and services

7.Service Support and enhancements that surround your offerings

8.Channel How your offerings are delivered to customers and users

9.Brand Representation of your offerings and business

10.Customer Engagement Distinctive interactions you foster



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