Capturing value from innovation

Published on July 31, 2022   12 min
My name is John Bessant. I'm Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter in the UK. This talk is all about how we capture value from innovation.
Innovation is about creating value from ideas. That's hard enough to do just making the journey from bright idea or gleam in the eye, to actually launching something onto the market. But the bad news is that that's only halfway along the road. To really capture value from our ideas. We need to move our innovation to scale. This process follows an S-curve over time with a few people adopting early on, and then, hopefully, an acceleration as our innovation diffuses widely.
Successful innovators can make mistakes. Even though they've learned and built capabilities, they can still get it wrong. Sometimes, spectacularly so. Take the case of Toshiba. Certainly not a new kid on the block, but a respected innovator for over nearly 150 years. Not just a one-hit wonder, either. Its success pedigree includes light bulbs, memory chips, video recorders, TV sets and DVD equipment. They also understand the challenges of bringing innovations to scale. For example, they are credited with bringing the notebook computer to the mass market with their 1100 series. Yet, they lost out big time in their attempt to put high definition DVD into play, losing the battle to Sony and its Blu-Ray system and around 1 billion dollars in the process.
Or Clive Sinclair, one of the creators of the personal computer revolution, whose ZX family of machines spawned a generation of programmers and helped move the technology to the mainstream. Despite his success with computers, millions of units sold worldwide, he managed to fail very publicly with his later venture, the C5 electric vehicle.