Sustaining Innovation vs. Disruptive Innovation (Sponsor)
“Innovation is widely regarded as the single most important ingredient in today’s economy,” according to entrepreneur Faisal Hoque at Fast Company.
Innovation not only impacts global economies and business models, but the quality of life of people. Innovation has changed the way people live, work and do business.
Businesses can focus on two types of innovation: sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation.
Sustaining Innovation Defined
A sustaining innovation improves existing products. It does not create new markets or value markets, but develops existing ones with better value, allowing companies to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements. Scholar and innovation expert Clayton Christensen explains it this way.
A sustaining innovation targets demanding, high-end customers with better performance than what was previously available. Some sustaining innovations are the incremental year-by-year improvements that all good companies grind out. Other sustaining innovations are breakthrough, leapfrog-beyond-the-competition products. It doesn’t matter how technologically difficult the innovation is, however: The established competitors almost always win the battles of sustaining technology. Because this strategy entails making a better product that they can sell for higher profit margins to their best customers, the established competitors have powerful motivations to fight sustaining battles. And they have the resources to win.
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