Maintaining a competitive edge

Next up is Sustaining Innovation – this is when we first take the basic products and service we built as a start-up and make them better. We add more features so that they can appeal to a more significant and more formal market segment and eventually start to replace old products with new or at least newer versions of products or services.

Sustaining Innovation is about keeping customers happy and the economy vibrant. In real dollar terms, this accounts for the most innovation out there, but in reality, it’s a zero-sum game when you evaluate their effect on jobs, capital and dare I say progress.

Much of what most organisation are doing when investing in product and service development is Sustaining Innovation. Unless it really comes up with something radical (in which case you can argue its Disruptive Innovation), it’s pretty much part of business as usual, therefore safe, therefore little immune response.

Sustaining Innovation keeps the cash flowing but it takes longer and don’t really create something new, Sustaining Innovation is great for extending your product or service life. Still, eventually, it will become stale with little or no appetite to buy it.