Divergence of new and old technologies is a source of tremendous innovation potential. As the dizzying pace of technological innovation accelerates indefinitely into tomorrow, not only do new paths diverge exponentially; doors already opened are increasingly abandoned for the allure of things undiscovered. Mature, late-stage life-cycle products left behind in today's fast-paced world open the floodgates to reinvention. This paper tests the hypothesis that innovativeness can be encouraged through the learning and application of universal innovation principles and processes. The implications of this research area are far-reaching. If innovation can be encouraged, then it can likely be taught. If it can be taught, then it can be systematized. More pervasive systematic innovation will accelerate change in the world. Individuals and organizations that master this kind of innovation will gain tremendous competitive advantages. The more people innovate, the more opportunities to innovate there will be. Creativity begets creativity. The microcosm studied in this thesis -- that of discontinuous innovation applied to mature products -- underscores the promise of potential far grander. If innovators, whether in small businesses or large corporations, seeking to capitalize on existing products with proven demand can combine innovation with iteration to consistently produce value for product stakeholders, what could they do to disrupt products as we know them? How many new product categories would emerge? Finally, if ordinary people everywhere began seeing themselves as and acting like innovators, what would stop any of us from changing the world? This paper distills existing and original theories of innovation into a new model called Innovation Harmony. The Innovation Harmony model details four crucial aspects of innovation, which are 1) Harmonize the views of stakeholders, 2) Understand the principles of innovation, 3) Create a creative environment, and 4) Apply the principles of innovation (follow a methodology). The paper concludes with a summary of a case study conducted at Brigham Young University, wherein 17 students attempted to reinvent the conventional Waffle Iron in a controlled environment. Their innovations are presented in the Appendix. Relevant analysis and recommendations are discussed in conclusion.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Smoot, Daniel C., "The Art and Science of Discontinuous Innovation: A Case Study in Product Reinvention" (2006). All Theses and Dissertations. 388.
discontinuous innovation, product innovation, innovation harmony, innovation principles, innovation processes, innovation methodology, innovation opportunity, innovation stakeholder, creativity, invention